Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't dream it. Be it, (Xpost from LJ))

One thing that bothered me about MidSouth Con was the number of people who talked to me about the books they want to write.

Not "have written."
Not "are writing."
But "want to write."

There were some really good ideas in there, including a unique take on time travel. I encouraged every one of them to write it up. Most just sort of sighed and shook their heads. No time. Not enough skills. Not good enough to do it justice.

There is only one way to be a writer: WRITE

Sit down and write the story.
It may not be all you dreamed or envisioned.
It may not make you much, or any money.
Write it anyway.

People may not get it.
People may get it and hate it.
Write it anyway.
The story does no one any good sitting in your head waiting for Someday.
Someday when I'm good enough.
Someday when I have time.
Someday when I'm not blocked.
There is no someday. There is today. You get 24 hours, just like the rest of us. If you need to write, if it gnaws until you can't see straight and MUST get it out on paper before you go mad, you'll make time.

Harlan Ellison says "If you can be discouraged, you should be."
Poppy Brite reminds us that only 2% of writers make a living at it.
Write anyway.

All of the above is summed up in one word: fear. Being a writer is big and scary. I still feel like Wiley E. Coyote who has run out of cliff when I send a story to an editor.
Feel the fear. Do it anyway.

If you want to be a writer, write.
If you want to be an author, submit.

But don't wait. Tempus keeps right on fugiting, faithful readers. And better a piece you weren't quite ready to handle than one you never started out of fear.

Here endeth the lesson.
(today's sermonette brought to you by the Yew: Perseverance leads to achievement)

1 comment:

Kate Diamond said...

Thank you! I am taking this lesson to heart. Will stop procrastinating on making my edits (I have written a book--past tense--but will do my edits--that's been future tense for MUCH longer than it should).