It’s Not About Writing When You Feel Like It

I’m a writer. I like to spend my time writing.

Some days the words just flow. Some days I feel like I’m having to chisel them out of a rock.

Some days I just stare blankly at the screen.

Now in my defense, sometimes when writers are the most quiet the wheels are still turning and scenarios

Mug Shots
(click the pic)

are being developed.

But, let’s be realistic. Some days the brain is just mush.

The thing is though, if you’re trying to be a serious writer, you can’t wait for inspiration.

There are all kinds of quotes out there that talk about how writing is just sitting down at the keyboard and putting one word in front of the other. That’s true.

It doesn’t matter if they’re good words. Or good sentences. What matters is the actual process of writing. Of doing the work.

Making them good words and sentences is why we edit. And sometimes the editing is the more difficult process.

My recently completed project (I wrote about it on Monday) was a good exercise in getting me to just sit down and put words on paper. Like I acknowledged, sometimes it was just about what was pissing me off on a particular day.

Likewise, I’ve had some success and some inspiration with Nanowrimo. When your challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, you sit down to write. Sometimes you write crap.

Sometimes you end up with six crappy novels on yourself (my rough estimate of the times I’ve “won” Nanowrimo), that need editing…as soon as you can get to them.

The more I pursue the writing, the more I realize and understand that this really is hard work.

I mean, I’ve always known that.

But now, when I tell people a writer and get the response of “Oh, I’ve always wanted to write a book but never had the time” I have to restrain my eyes from rolling.

Writing is work. It’s hard work.

We all get the concept. No matter the profession, we all understand the concept of having to get up and go to work on a regular basis.

It’s like that for writers as well. Even the ones who are successfully doing it full time. Perhaps especially for those since no writing means no income.

While I do have a day job, for the writing I have come to the understanding that I need to set aside time on a daily basis to write. It doesn’t always matter what I’m writing. Some days it does.

The point is to always be writing. Always be putting those words together.

If they’re inspired, well, that’s much more better.

The point is that the writing gets done.

You may not be a writer, but the principle applies in whatever your life endeavor.

Get the work done. Don’t just talk about it.

Listen to Nike and just do it.

(I totally should have had an affiliate link for Nike for that last sentence.)

If we all wait until we feel like doing something, none of us will accomplish anything.

Sure, that sounds like Utopia, but I think we know better.

Truth in advertising: I did not feel like writing this post.

I wrote it on Monday morning. With the Wednesday holiday and the Tuesday birthday, I decided to take a couple of days off from the day job. After nearly twenty-four years, I have plenty of leave time.

The plan was to get up early do the gym, do the coffee shop writing, haul a load of crap to the landfill, and then possibly yard work, or heat stroke, depending on what I tried to accomplish.

I’ll spare you details, but let’s just say I woke up in the middle of the night feeling very not well. It’s just after 8:00 on Monday morning, and I’m still a bit queasy. I’ll be fine. I just need this to pass.

While the plans for the rest of day are being adjusted, I’m spending the time writing even though I’d like to just go back to bed.

So, while this may not be the most inspired writing, I can at least claim that I’m suffering for my art.

I hope you didn’t suffer too much reading about it.



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