NOTE: I don't post to this blog super-duper often anymore, because I'm busy writing, well, books. (Read more about that here.) For more up-to-date, day-to-day ramblings, visit my Facebook page.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Secret to Writing More

 I came upon a blog post recently entitled "The 7 Habits of Highly Prolific Writers." I highly recommend it to all aspiring writers. For one thing, it's very brief and gets to the point.

Unlike myself.

Here's the takeaway from that article that I lit upon: "Sit down and write." That doesn't sound like rocket science, nor does it sound like anything especially new. But here's the thing: Very few people do that.

When I was (much) younger, I did a lot of whining that went something like this:

"I don't have time to write. I have a stupid full-time job."

"Why do I have to do homework? I'd much rather write my story."

"I'm so tired when I get home I can't get up the energy to write."

There was a lot more to it, but since it was whining, I don't guess you really want to read it.

I do remember one evening hanging out in the kitchen while my dad was cooking dinner. I was on one of my "poor me, I never get to write, and it's my life's dream" rants. He said, "So why don't you go do it?"

I hummphed in that classic You haven't been a kid since the Great War, how would you understand anything? teen attitude and went up to my room.

And I wrote something.

The fact is, if I'd done as much writing as whining, it wouldn't have taken me so long to get a publishing contract. I got close plenty of times--I'd get a little something published, then slack off, then get something else published. I got encouraging letters from editors and agents. And I let other things get in the way.

Don't get me wrong: They were good things. Things like raising a kid, dealing with some personal issues, learning balance and structure in my life. They may even have been necessary to get through before I could bring the writing around full circle. But the fact is, however justified, I did put other things before the writing.

So I have no one to blame for my delayed success but myself.

I don't kick myself now, because as I said, those things I put first were necessary and wonderful. But neither do I sit around saying, Gee, how is that some people publish at 29 and I'm publishing at %&*#^ age? I know why. I'm okay with it.

Make sure you're okay with the choices you make. Are they necessary? Then fine. But if they're not, then figure out why you're not writing. Maybe it's because it's really hard and scary. And it is. But be honest: Focus on that, work on that. Don't whine that you can't find time.

When you must write, you find the time.     

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