September 23, 2012

There's Only One Way From Here to There

Leg Warmers by Harvey Edwards
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." - Henry David Thoreau

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” - George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the  courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

What they don't talk about is how bloody, fucking hard it is to make your dreams come true. 

It requires an enormous investment of time and effort to bridge that creative gap and get from where we are (super-sucky-omg-I'll-never-be-good-at-this) to where we want to be (holy-crap-I'm-the-next-Stephen-King). 

And there's only one road on that map. It's called Bleed Onto The Page Road. And there can only be arrived at from here. You can't be good, without getting good first. And the only way to get good, is to practice. And not just half-assed, I wrote 10,000 words today, and logged my 1,000 hours this year. It has to be hard work. It has to be deliberate practice. It creates bruises, and twisted joints. Ripped up legwarmers and broken toes. Nightmares and multi-vitamin dependencies. 

I know this is true. 
Because I've tried every other way.

I've studied dozens of writing books and read hundreds of articles. I've joined writer's groups and critique groups. I've even started a writing blog. Hunny, I've got all kinds of great writing advice for you, if you want it (just check out my collection at scoopit). 

But I don't have a manuscript. 

This is really hard work people. And it will take a really long time. If it didn't matter, it would be easy, I would be done. But it does matter and that's what makes it bloody, fucking hard. And, of course, "...the hard is what makes it great."


So, I'm ready for a little hard work. (Well, maybe a lot of hard work.) I'm scared silly and exhausted just thinking about it. I'm sick and I'm busy and I have to make dinner. I'm tired, I have a headache, and the sun is out, so I really should take BoyChild to the beach. 

But I won't, because I'm writing damnit!


  1. All you have to do is figure out what works for you. And make sure that it isn't TOO hard, at least not yet, because it only gets harder. At this point you should be enjoying yourself. It's not about word count or hours, it's about doing whatever will help you write better, and for many, that doesn't involve actual writing. For some it does, but for others it involved reading, or watching TV, or even something completely random. I have always averaged about two to three hours of writing a week, and I have two books coming out in the next six months--one from a small house, Omnific, and the second from Random House. You don't have to make yourself miserable to grow. If writing isn't fun right now, it will never be. Don't let yourself become an 'after'.
    "I'll relax 'after' I finish my ms."
    "I'll write for fun 'after' I get an agent."
    "...'after' I get my book deal."
    "...'after' my book comes out."
    "...'after' my sales take off."
    The truth: 'after' never comes. There is always something else.

    It should be fun now. There is plenty of time for stress later.

    1. Thanks for this Marian. I see that I've been focusing too much on work involved in writing. I do enjoy it, I get an incredible buzz out of it when I jolt out of bed at crazy-o'clock with the perfect solution/thread/line for the ole WIP. I turn on my glow-in-the-dark pen and scribble away, telling myself the whole time, that no, I cannot get up and write right now... I think the reason I blog so much about the hard work part, is because I've always expected things to come easy. So when it's not easy, if I'm not good at it right away, I give up. I don't want to let myself do that with my writing anymore. Thank you so much for reading my blog and taking the time to comment and remind me that WRITING SHOULD BE FUN!! You're so right.

    2. I've been thinking of joining NaNoWriMo this year just to loosen up and enjoy the act of writing without having my internal editor shaking a finger at me. A way to relax and just write without fear, because the focus of NaNoWriMo is "quantity not quality".

  2. Yay!! YOU GO GIRL!! Proud of you for focusing and not letting the distractions of life get in the way of the task you set before you. Good job!

  3. Nanowrimo helped me loosen up last year. I can say I learned to finish something - whether it was good or not, just because Nano got me motivated. Keep it up A.J. Have fun, like Marian said. Enjoy the process and the rest will come...

    1. Thanks Cat! I've signed up for NaNo and am really looking forward to it; maybe I'll see you there! ;)


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