First Rule of Writing: Always Write

Back when this blog was on WordPress, and part of a graded assignment for my professional writing class, I blogged about my NaNo experience. One of my followers (we were grouped according to similar blog topics)couldn’t understand why I would waste my time on something that would (at best) end up in a grocery store (which was the worst, lowest, and most meaningless kind of art, in his opinion); why I would subject myself to a rigorous writing schedule of 1,667 words a day for a full month, when all he could manage most days was a blank screen. He fully admitted to being perfectionist, but I think being a perfectionist was the least of his issues. The smugness of the whole comment made me want to reach through my computer monitor and slap him.

Most people who are intimidated by the white page of creative death many times whine about how their muse has abandoned them, or how they don’t have any ideas of what to write. That is not writing. That is making excuses for not writing. Your profound, New York Times Bestseller that is going to change the world is not going to magically show up by you staring blankly at a screen. Many writers some how delude themselves into thinking that when the moment is “right”, when the idea finally “hits” them, or when God speaks down in a commanding, booming voice, they will write their story.

NEWS FLASH: God isn’t sitting by idly on a wispy cloud, taking his pretty time to tell you to write that world-changing novel, and if you’re waiting for the right moment or for inspiration to hit, you’ll be waiting forever. No offense, but if this is your idea of writing, you need to divorce it immediately. It’s a romantic idea, but one that rarely pans out in reality.

Just write.

Eventually, while wading through the enormous pile of crap and crappy ideas you’ll be writing, a gem will surface. You’ll be so in love with the idea or the story you won’t be willing to abandon it, regardless of how much crap will probably come out at first. However, in the interim, you will have to put out a lot of crap and go through a lot of crappy ideas before you find “the one” that you’ve been waiting for. You could say it’s a lot like finding the right significant other.

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