Write, All Right!

17 Jun

Lately, something has been niggling at the back of my mind, eating away there and kind of making me….worry.

You see, I’m part of a goals and accountability group, but beyond that, a large percentage of my friends are writerly people. These thoughts revolve around conversations I’ve had with the group and with friends, and (if I’m being completely honest, which is — of course — painful) myself.

So often, as writers, we get going and then we get distracted by The List. Everyone’s List is different, but let’s just look at a few things that might be on it:

  1. Research
  2. Craft Books
  3. Networking
  4. Agent or Editor research (especially when that info is really not needed yet – trust me, if you’ve got more than 3 months to go, that list will change)
  5. Reading blogs to figure out how other people did it
  6. Critiquing (this one is me *sigh* I’m just a girl who can’t say no….and, I guess, my crits don’t suck)
  7. Beta reading (I’m horrible at this, I always revert back to #6 when asked to do #7)
  8. Reading for research (you know, well, I have to read these 427 books before I can write mine)
  9. Revising
  10. Revising again
  11. Revising the revisions
  12. Throw the book away and start from scratch
  13. Revise that
  14. Move up to #10 and repeat

And what does all of this get us? Does it get us close to publication?

If only the answer was always “NO”, then we could shake our heads at ourselves and get back to the proverbial grindstone. But, unfortunately, most of those things are valid in moderation. The problem is, so many people have a few that they get stuck on. That they feel is the magic key to success, the thing that is going to push them into the Big Contract territory.

So often – so so so often – lately I’ve wanted to look at my friends (AND myself) and shout JUST GO WRITE – WRITE AND WRITE AND WRITE AND WRITE – WHY AREN’T YOU WRITING?

We all have our List — our stall list — and if everyone could just look at it, and shake their heads and admit that there are lines and we’ve crossed them and get back to getting words on the page, I wonder where we’d be.

HERE IS THE SECRET: It’s been passed down to me from several successful writers and now I’m sharing it with you: GO WRITE THE DARN BOOK – AND then the next one, and then the one after that…and don’t stop. When you fail, don’t stop. When you succeed, don’t stop. When you’re not sure what the heck is going on, don’t stop. Because, without the books, there is no writing success.

I would love to see your list. AND, if you’d like, tell me how you’re going to (or already did) overcome it!

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10 Responses to “Write, All Right!”

  1. Linda G. June 17, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Yes. The secret is in those two little words: Don’t stop. 🙂

  2. briaq June 17, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    I’m now singing Journey 🙂

  3. sonia June 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    LOL networking isn’t on my list. Neither is Agent or Editor research, since I am no where near done. But the others . . .yeah. Yeah. and research has to be the most distracting of them all.

  4. Katrina Williams June 18, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    My big distraction is like critiquing – it’s what I call support and commiseration. I have writer friends for a reason and I want to be involved in what they are doing. Provide support. Brainstorming. Cheer them on. Complain about my wip. All that takes time. Someone I know challenged me to go one day without the internet, which would mean giving this up for a day and the thought makes my blood freeze…

  5. briaq June 18, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    Research seems to be a big one – I mean, it’s “WORK” right? We need to do research!

    I even blogged about this a year ago when I was wrapping up my fantasy – Knowing how to focus and when to stop. I can totally see the Research Loop.

  6. briaq June 18, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    Hmmm… who would that challenging person be? 😉

    I think, one thing we need to remember is this is a JOB – right now, it’s like we’re interns: not getting paid. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t have to do the work. Which just struck me with another interesting dare I’ll be sending the ACers way!

  7. Steve June 21, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    Well, for me it goes like this. A little over a year ago I decided I had a story to tell, and though I’d never been a writer except for a wee bit of poetry, I sat down and cranked out a prologue and a couple of chapters. Then, one of my friends said, “This is good, you should get it published”. Being clueless about the publishing industry, I went to the source of all knowledge, the Internet.

    So now my “List” consists of
    Read blogs, comment on blogs, start a writer blog, start a character blog.

    The WIP is at 3 chapters and holding.

    The late Robert Heinlein gave 4 points of advice to writers, the first 2 of which were as follows:

    (1) You must write

    (2) You must finish what you write.

    I think it’s lucky for the world that throughout most (or all?) of his career Heinlein did not have the Internet as a distraction.

    -Steve

  8. briaq June 21, 2010 at 1:16 am #

    LOL Steve – As you can see, I’m a BIG believer in “writers write” – I may not be super prolific, but I’ve been writing about 3 years and I”m on book 4… granted, book 1 got written 5 times *snort*

  9. newtowritinggirl June 22, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Please if you feel then need to shout JUST GO WRITE – WRITE AND WRITE AND WRITE AND WRITE – WHY AREN’T YOU WRITING? – shout it in my direction.
    I’m currently looking for a new job, editing my first novel, keeping up with reading blogs, writing my own blogs and reading. And trying to find time to write.
    But, most of my time is spent stressing about what I should be doing, not actually doing anything. It’s frustrating. I like the ‘Just go write’ line. I think I’ll use that!

  10. briaq June 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    It took me a long time to give up the daily blog list — and it was long. Now, thanks to twitter, I only have a few I read regularly. Everything else I get a preview or recommendation from twitter.

    You can totally do it! I’m in the same boat. I don’t think people realize how much looking for a job takes out of you, but you can totally do this 🙂

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