Lines to Love: Just Write
I’m not entirely sure how it happened, but I’ve fallen out of my writing sync. Ordinarily, when the week begins, I set aside Monday as the exclusive writing day. I organize my blog post for Friday or, usually, the next week as I like to be ahead a blog post or two. Then I read over the last two or three chapters I’ve written in my novel and start work on the next one. Then, on Wednesdays and Thursdays- my writing days- I have my mind in the zone to work on the novel some more. However, about a month or so ago, my writing schedule got shot to… well, let’s just say, it got railroaded. There are any number of excuses I can trot out- getting very, very sick so that I was laid low for over ten days, playing catch-up afterwards, and the general obligations that crop up in everyone’s life, too. But, at the end of the day, they’re still excuses.
Those words by Natalie Goldberg are galvanizing. No more excuses. I will finish this draft and be closer to the finish of this novel. Period. And to help me get my writing groove back, I’ve looked to the masters of my craft. As only other writers can, they have helped me get my rear in gear with this simple directive: JUST WRITE!
Look at Louis L’Amour, author of nearly 100 novels and a plethora of short stories. His advice on how to keep writing is profound and, did I mention, simple?
With writing, it might seem like our faucet is clogged. Like water will not come out, and if it does, it’s s trickle. But, L’Amour would know about getting the water flowing. All you need to do is look at his LONG list of works to see that he kept writing, and by keeping on, the faucet stayed on- full tilt- and the water flowed.
Diana Gabaldon is author of the wildly popular Outlander series. I take her advice seriously. It doesn’t matter if all the content is perfectly outlined. It doesn’t matter if you write a chapter or a large portion of a scene that will ultimately get tossed in the rubbish basket. What matters is applying yourself to the writing process. Honor the process, and you’ll end up with something to be proud of in the end.
The rest will come. Aren’t those the words every writer wants to hear? Having aspirations to be published, this advice has been crucial for me. Don’t keep that end game to much in the forefront that it causes you to seize up. Worry whether or not a publish will want to publish you book will cause you to be so hyper critical of your work that you’ll actually staunch the writing flow.
Just Write. That’s what makes you a writer. It’s not whether you’re recognized by a publishing house or even a large portion of the population. Prior to J. K. Rowling being published, she was still a writer. And every time that she sat down to write, giving honor to the process, she was becoming a better writer.
So, I’m going to just write. I’m going to throw myself back in. I’m going to turn off all the noise of whether this draft will be good enough or whether I’ll ever get a publisher to want to publish me, and I’m going to write.
I’ll leave you with one last bit of advice that has been eye-opening for me.
Ten minutes and a writing implement. That’s all. Now, as I sit hear outside, the sun shining, the birds singing, an infernal lawnmower chugging away in the neighbor’s yard, I’m going to write. Write. Write. Write. I’m just going to do it.
What’s something you’ve been putting on the back burner that you need to JUST DO?