It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write. ~Sinclair Lewis
By: Stacey Purcell
Well, that’s not exactly true.
Now that I’ve got your attention, I want to share something with you and I want to issue a challenge.
It’s six o’clock in the morning on the day that I need to post my blog. Normally, I spend at least an afternoon prior to “going live” working on my article, researching, polishing and re-writing bits that I think are lame. (Trust me when I say there are usually many lame bits.) This week is different!
This week I was a writer. Shocking I know!
I’ve been so immersed in learning about all it takes to be a writer with a career, I forgot the first part…you have to write stuff to be a writer. Let me explain.
I’m a perpetual student. If I hear about something, I’m compelled to study it until the cows come home. I know- a total geek. Anyway, I’ve spent a massive amount of time learning about marketing, publishing, contracts etc. and avoided sitting down with my computer to create. Even at the National RWA Conference in NYC, I chose a lot of workshops around those topics. I did exactly what Jenn was talking about in her article yesterday. I lost my balance.
Life bombards us with grenades of trouble, responsibilities, worries etc. Those are hard enough to combat without adding my little problem to the mix. I know I’m not unique, there are a lot of you that aren’t writing for many different reasons. I used my love of learning to run away from myself.
I am mad. I got so far away from my stories, I thought about giving it all up. It was much easier to write blogs and go to workshops, right? The teacher in me would like to lay out neat little steps for all of us to take to get back to writing. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Everyone is different and all I can do is share with you what I did.
The hardest part was the first step. I finally understood that I needed to put my first manuscript away. I’d been mired in it for so long and it spanned through some very difficult years for me personally. It was like telling a child, you no longer believe in them. It broke my heart. I know I will go back to her one day, just not today.
I pulled out the second novel in the series that I began this last NaNo season. I had written about 55 pages so it wasn’t overwhelming. I edited the prologue and was hooked. This week, I participated in a progressive story with three other authors. We each took a thousand words and the story line changed with each person! Fun! I also called an old critique partners and asked for help. (This part is key.) It made me accountable. I’m meeting with one of them in about two hours so I had to prepare twenty pages for her to go over last night.
Am I perfect now? Am I all cured from the crap that runs around in my head? That’s a resounding, no. But for this week, and I am determined for many more weeks, I am a writer.
Well, that was the sharing part, now comes the challenge part. I’m going to give you a writing spark and I want you to create a paragraph around it. Just a few sentences- come on you can do it! Do it just for the fun of it, do it just to create.
1) An orange cat out in a stormy night
2) A lonely woman in her house