Thursday, April 19, 2007

Excuses Don't Make You a Writer

Last week we interviewed two writers. We got in touch with how they work. You can bet they don't make excuses for anything. With that I had a few thoughts about "Real" writers and excuses that don't make you a writer.

Neither, do writers make excuses. If you are serious about the craft of writing you must internalize the phrase, “Writers Write.” Above all else they write every day. Never allow yourself to say you are too tired, too busy, you’re waiting for inspiration or you’ll do it tomorrow. If nothing else begin with a double spaced page of I can't write now because - keep writing until you talk yourself out of all those silly excuses.

A real writer won’t give up because editors, agents, readers, critics and publishers are unfair and they just won’t give a new writer a fair shake. Think of all the breakout novels that have hit the stands lately – oh sure everyone thinks Harry Potter or Eragon, or any other list that includes a new author is just a lucky break, the author must have known someone. The truth is the break out author, or the over night success has paid the his or her dues, writing through problems of single parenting, home schooling, and a myriad of other things they could have used as excuses. If they weren't writers. Remember excuses don't make you a writer and writers don't make excuses.

Oh I’m too young, old, or I come from a poverty background that doesn't allow me to be able to “waste” my time sitting around writing everyday. (what about J.K. Rowling) Or my family always interrupts me with something I “have” to do, so I don’t have “time” to write. You are creative, that’s why you want to write; so, create a plan that lets you write at a time when interruptions are minimal. If that means late at night or the wee hours of the morning, if you really want to be a writer —you will find an appropriate time and place to write. You will ask your spouse or significant other to deal with things for an hour while you write. You'll tell your children you need a few private minutes to write and you'll play a game (or whatever is their favorite thing) with them if they will give you an hour. Set a timer so they know you mean business.

“Writers write; everyone else makes excuses,” says Jack M. Bickham the author of more than sixty-five published novels and a plethora of other publications on the craft of writing fiction.

Pick up your pen and write! I challenge you to this: buy a calendar – a cheap one with large squares you can write in. At the end of each day write down how many hours you actually spent writing—-[no research is not writing] follow that with how many pages of product [page]you have. It doesn’t have to be a polished manuscriptpage; it can be rough a draft page or several. The important thing is that you produced some writing. Do you realize if you wrote one page a day for a year – you would have the equivalent of a 365 page novel? So what are you waiting for?


Brenda said...

Nag, nag, nag! Great reminder to write every day. I like the idea to keep track on calendar pages, sort of like I did for NANO each day.

Great blog!

JanetElaineSmith said...

Good stuff, but I'll bet I could have written a full page while I read it! LOL!
Janet Elaine Smith, Author of 16 published books (that I DID take the time to write!)

Bradley said...

Looks good Billie, I like that idea.. mostly I write when I am on break at work or some place quiet.. few and far between, but I manage. =)