Friday, December 4, 2009

Writing Commandment #2 Thou shall write!

On the surface this seems so obvious it's stupid. I mean, how can a writer not write? Easy. A little thing called life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of our novel-ing hopes and dreams. In my case, my multiple roles as mother, wife, group therapist, home repair guru, cleaning lady, entertainment coordinator and online junkie tends to suck the hours right out of the day. If you discount tweets, blogs, recipes, edits for others and reviews, I haven't written anything since Sunday. Picture me doing a double take when looking at the week and a little thought bubble over my head querying, "Just where did the time go?"

And that's what happens—time marches ahead, ruthless and heedless of our best intentions. We are all going to have weeks, perhaps even months like this. What will separate the dabblers from the true believers is one simple fact.

You have to want it badly enough.

I've blown off friends and relatives when I'm trucking along on a novel. It is not unheard of for me to unplug the phone and ignore emails and there have been a few memorable instances when I ignored a knock on the door, too. Hiding from my neighbors' five year old daughter--my own, personal Denise the Menace was a particularly ridiculous scenario.

Seemed like a great idea at the time.

Know what though? I want to write. Scratch that, I need to write, in order to get the crazies out. Otherwise I hold all the lunatic inside and it festers like a week old boil, ready to rupture. Better lance the sucker before it blows.

Okay, I just grossed myself out.

Then too, there's the flying self-doubt monkeys we need to battle. Those nasty buggers have a way of latching onto one's back, making every statement that seemed brilliant twelve hours ago, come across as trite and tired. We need to ignore them, to push our way onward, even with a monkey on our backs. If it really sucks, someone will tell us, eventually. Now is not the time to worry about quality control.

It's like Nora Roberts says, “I can fix a bad page, but not a blank one.” She is one smart, prolific writer.

So you wanna be a writer,too? Quit making excuses and be one. Go write, that's an order.

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