It’s 2am (or 7am or 5pm) and the clock is ticking. You
know hope you have a good hour before you’re interrupted. You sit down to write, fingers at the keyboard, and the screen stares back at you. Blinking cursor mocking you. The last sentence you wrote glaring, daring you to add to it.
This hard-won time is counting down with or without your consent while your fingers itch to play candy crush. It’s not like the scene’s going well anyway…
“No. I’m a writer,” you say. “I write.” So let’s get on with it. Right? You type out a sentence. One word. A paragraph.
You’re suddenly struck by the realization that your favorite show is available for streaming RIGHT NOW.
No. You have to write. It’s the job you want. You love to tell stories with words. The voice in the back of your head mocks that statement, but you don’t care. You set up a timer to make you focus. This will work.
Another paragraph. Another page. It’s probably the worst thing you’ve ever written, your mind says. So what? It’s done. You can’t edit a blank page, after all. Right? You squash the inner whispers for a minute and keep pressing forward.
Your time is up before you know it. An interruption happens, a timer goes off, your lunch break ends and it’s time to get back to the daily grind, etc. For whatever reason, you have to put aside your writing and move on to other life things until the next time you sit down to write.
It takes courage to do what we do. For most of us, the fight is as much inside our heads as it is from the outside. The voice telling us we’re going to fail may be based on someone you know (an ex-husband who told you writing was a stupid waste of time, perhaps? Hmm. Maybe that’s just me.). The fact remains we do it. Every day. Every time we sit down we try to still our minds and translate our ideas to paper. Some days the words flow like a waterfall, raging and fantastic. You can’t stop it no matter what you do. Other days its like wrangling an octopus into a mason jar.
Take heart. Most of your days won’t be filled with dreck. The more you write, the more the words will flow. You’ll begin to accept the bad writing days as par for the course and not let it cripple you because there will be other, greater, more amazing writing days. The moment when things come together and your characters start to make sense. A spark where you realize the problem with your scene was the POV it was written in. When you changed it (in desperation because nothing else was working) to the other character, it flowed like it was always meant to be that way. The day you spent in panic because the words wouldn’t come will lead into the day where your fingers aren’t moving as fast as your brain. 😀
Don’t give up. Later in life you won’t remember *exactly* why you quit, only that you did so. Trust me.
Being courageous isn’t about being fearless. It’s about doing what needs to be done in spite of the fear.
Let me say that again.
Courage is about being afraid to fail and doing it anyway.
So write. Don’t stop. Polish up your work and submit it to a publisher. Write some more. If/when you get rejected (I was rejected several times by my dream publisher before they took me on) learn what you can and keep trying. We’re two weeks into this quarter’s Round of Words challenge, but we’re halfway through Camp NaNoWriMo. Many are panicked, stressed, worried, upset, and disappointed. Take heart. If you don’t succeed in winning your CampNaNoWriMo challenge, the book is still going strong. Keep writing and don’t stop. Maybe it takes you until November to finish. So what if it takes a few months (year, five years) longer than you’d planned…the time was still there for you to do it.
It’s now time for my A Round of Words in 80 Days update:
- Spirit Lake: I haven’t worked on this one so far this week. I finished Private Cowboy, so I’m so much happier. Voodoo Carnival is my focus since it’s due for submission by the 21st.
- Voodoo Carnival: Thanks to this amazing (Did I mention AMAZING) post on how to index cards your scenes, Voodoo Carnival is well on its way to being done without my random veering off into nowherelandia I’m famous for in my first draft.
- Private Cowboy: Done and submitted. I received a notice from the editor of the anthology that Private Cowboy was received. The results won’t release until December, but it’s off my list. 😀
- My original goals post has been updated with my success. The first item has been been checked off my list. Too awesome!
If you’re interested in joining us on the Round of Words in 80 Days Challenge (your own goals for the quarter!), check it out HERE.
I’m part of a fantastic group, and if you’d like to see how everyone else is doing, check out the list HERE.