Monday, May 20, 2013

A Writer Writes

A writer writes. Pretty simple, right? If you write, you are a writer, if you don't, you're not.

I'm bad at writing. I don't mean my writing is terrible to read,(sometimes it is), or that I'm awful at the craft of writing (such as grammar, structure, voice, style, etc.). I mean that I am bad at actually writing things. I'm terrible at putting pen to paper or words on the screen.

Free time is my enemy. I long for it and then have no idea what to do when I have it. I think about everything I could do, all the possibilities and they overwhelm me to the point where I sit on the couch, just thinking. I psyche myself out. I ask myself: Which project do I work on? What should I do? Edit a novel that may never be good enough? Start a new story or continue one that I'll never get around to finishing? A blog post that will be read by few?

I plan on writing. All through the week, I tell myself, this time, this weekend, I'm going to write for four hours, or 10,000 words, edit this many pages, do this and that, not to mention the other thing. What happens to these plans come Saturday morning? They fade away like fog on a summer day. I stare at my screen, lacking motivation to make a decision and click on something. Weak, pathetic. It's silly and stupid, childish even.

My plans may have been overblown. I overestimated my willpower, my drive. I need to set a limit, time or words to write, a goal for Saturday and Sunday. An easy goal that I can succeed at time and time again, giving me confidence until it's routine. Then I can increase the goal.

One hour of writing on the weekend. Sixty minutes, nonstop, either editing or writing. I will set a timer and until that timer goes off, I can do nothing but edit or write. No internet surfing, no video-game playing or tv watching. Nothing but writing. A writer writes. Lately, I haven't been much of a writer, but I want to change that.

A writer writes. To be honest, at least for myself, I would like to change that saying. A writer writes regularly. If you jot down one story three years ago and haven't written since, you're not a writer, in my mind. But if you jot down even just one sentence a week? You're a writer. I want to be a writer.

60 minutes over the weekend. Easy, right? Pathetic, really. I know it's not much but it's a start, and starting is the hardest part of any project. I need to write first and put my thoughts on hold, my fears of never being published, being good enough, feelings that what I'm doing is ultimately pointless...Those are lies told by fear, excuses not to do something I enjoy. It's silly to excuse myself from doing something I enjoy. I need to get over it.

It's like running or going to the gym. I always feel good afterwards. It's getting the motivation to do it in the first place, to get your butt of the couch and act. That's the hard part.

I've made excuses long enough. Time to start writing.

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