Friday, December 27, 2013

A Writer Must...Write!

Millions of people think and talk about writing a book.  Only a small percentage of them actually do it.  Many might start, but few finish.  Of that small percentage who actually do write a book, an even smaller percentage of them are published.  Manuscripts get shoved into a drawer, left to gather dust, while life continues to happen.

There are all kinds of reasons why a person doesn't get around to actually write.  There's a mantra for that.  It goes something like:  "I'll do it when life settles down."  "As soon as the kids are grown, I'm going to write that book."  And more.

The cold, hard fact is that if we want to write a book and finish it--maybe submit to a publisher and even receive a contract offer or self-publish our work--we have to put our butts in our chairs, forget about the dishes, tune out the screams of the children racing through the house, stop watching the thirty television shows we've become addicted to, and start writing.  But there's more.  We have to keep writing throughout the chaos of life, the ups and downs and no-time-to-write periods.

Let's face it.  A book won't write itself.  Only a writer can write it.

I played at writing, too.  There were those plays I wrote before the age of twelve, then later, I really did write a book on a third-hand portable typewriter.  And finished it.  Thankfully, it vanished. into the ether of long, long ago.  I knew nothing about writing.  Years went by before I felt the urge to write again.  I took two writing correspondence courses--yes, by mail, but didn't finish the second one.  With family in a needy period, I stuffed down the want-to-write feeling.  But I picked it up again a few years later, when life had calmed down.  Yeah, I see myself in one of those pigeonholes above.  The kids were older, more involved in their own lives and school, and I started at the writing game again.  Only this time, I didn't let anything or anyone stop me.  I wrote.  Book after book.  No training to speak of, at first, except those writing courses and thousands of books read.  Then the internet came into my life, and I met other writers.  After that, I wrote even more, and wrote better, thanks to the new friends I met, who had connections and had learned some of the ins and outs.  They shared with me.  I shared with them.  We grew together.

It was nice to have people to share with who battled the same things I did, when it came to writing.  Life, in general, too.  It still is.  My world has opened up, and each new year, it opens even more.  I treasure those friends, still.

If you want to write, write.  Give up an hour of television a day or an hour of sleep and start writing.  Find a writing group in your community or online.  Two heads (and more!) are better than one.  Continue to write.  The more you do it, the better you will be writing.  Read and study about writing and the market, whether online articles and blogs or books, then go back and use what you've learned as you write.

Seriously?  I'm still learning.

This is the last Friday of this year.  In four days, we'll be saying goodbye to 2013 and ringing in the new 2014.  Use these days to think about how you can be more productive with your writing.  Make this upcoming new year the one in which you'll write that book you've always dreamed of writing.  If you have a finished book, why is it languishing in a drawer?  Dust it off, polish it, and send it out to agents and/or publishers or check out indie/self-publishing.  Or do both!

Writers must write.  If not, they are only dreamers.  While there's nothing wrong with dreaming, doing is what makes those dreams come true.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.  ~ Walt Disney

No comments: