Recently, I read an articles by John Scalzi titled Writing: Find the Time or Don’t. Eesh – what a swift kick in the ass that was for me. He spoke of how people are always asking him about “finding time to write.” He tells it like it is in his reply. Basically he said that if a person wants to write – come hell or high water they will find the time.
John Scalzi’s article sent me into reflection time. I won’t say that his article made me realize that I have been playing as a hobbyist the last twenty years when it comes to my writing. I have always known that, just refuse to admit it. I have always known I have been procrastinating and making excuses. To be honest, I have been downright lazy. I have come up with some humdinger of excuses as to not be able to take the time and write.
I have always told myself I wanted to write more than anything else in the world. At times, I actually believed myself. It wasn’t until six years ago, that I realized, I had a serious craving to be published but yet the excuses continued. Currently, I have seven projects on the go. Some have outlines – some don’t. NONE are completed. I should have at least one project published by now but they all sit in my “to finish” folder on my desktop.
I have made some serious errors in judgment when it came to writing over the last twenty years. The biggest one is the belief that my writing will mature into grand books, that are published, without working my ass off to get it that way. As my girlfriend has told me several times – “Wade, a garden won’t grow unless you plant the darn crops. Same goes with your writing – it won’t grow unless you plant and weed through your creative ideas you have.” Towanna has kicked my ass more than once when it comes to my excuses and laziness and I believe she will do it again in a heartbeat if I give her a reason to.
Everyone has worries, concerns and downright phobias in life. One of my biggest fears is that one day; I will lose my ability to voice through words. I have always thought that I that my creativity, words and talent would be there no matter what. Life is too short to believe in such things. Recently, I was told – AICFHOK (ass in chair fucking hands on keyboard.) I mentioned that to my girlfriend and she has not let me forget it. I know when she says AICFHOK that I need to reexamine myself and get my ass moving.
I have always played at getting published one day. Now I am serious about it. I write daily – something, anything – regardless if I want to or not. When I get lazy, I remember the Scalzi’s words and the words of my girlfriend. I am not published by now and that is my own fault – no one else to blame but me.
So to anyone who may read this blog – from writers with many books published to the writer preparing his/her first book for publication, my advice to you will be quoted from John Scalzi’s blog that I mentioned above. “But if you want to be a writer, than be a writer, for god’s sake. It’s not that hard, and it doesn’t require that much effort on a day to day basis. Find the time or make the time. Sit down, shut up and put your words together. Work at it and keep working at it. And if you need inspiration, think of yourself on your deathbed saying “well, at least I watched a lot of TV.” If saying such a thing as your life ebbs away fills you with existential horror, well, then. I think you know what to do.”
Don’t waste twenty years of your life like I have done with mine. Sit down and write – daily. If you have a hurdle (no matter what it is) to get over and can’t, then find a blog, a writer or someone to help you get past it. Don’t listen to your own self-doubts, don’t allow excuses to slow you down, and don’t let fears prevent you from doing what you know is deep down inside you waiting for its escape. AICHOK and work on it on a daily basis and who knows – you just might shock a publisher and finish ahead of time.