Archive for December, 2010

Self-Discipline the Bane of Writers

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Writing is a profession. As such it needs to be taken seriously, routinely, on a schedule, in a timely manner. If you are serious about supporting yourself as a writer, you have to employ every hard-work technique you’ve ever learned. With the understanding that even if you diligently apply yourself day in and day out, you may never arrive at a survivable level with your writing. Bummer.

So you must write because you are driven to do it. To survive emotionally. Because it answers a longing deep within yourself. Then, if someone else enjoys what you write and it ends up earning you money, so much the better.

One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Chariots’ of Fire, in which Eric Liddel says to his sister, “God has a purpose for me and that is to serve Him … , but God also made me to run fast and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

For myself, when I write, I feel God’s pleasure and we both smile.

Short Quiz — Are You Really a Writer?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Anytime you mention that you’re a writer someone says “I should write a book…” and then proceeds to tell you why they have the perfect life, idea, plot, etc for a best-selling novel. And of course, that is great.
Creative outlets are to be encouraged and I wish them well.
However, if we really talk for any length of time, I usually give them my one-question quiz to pinpoint whether or not they truly wish to write. It is: Do you like to rewrite?
If you want to sit down in front of your Mac and write your Great American Novel, and feel that once it appears on the screen in written form that you are done you’d better not count on a contract with anyone anytime soon.
Just as success is 10% luck and 90% persperation, great writing is 10% innate talent and 90% editing … and editing and editing and editing.
If, however, you feel that putting something down on paper is simply a time-consuming exercise leading to the real fun of tearing into what’s written and you can spend hours and days happily rearranging sentences and rewording phrases — you’ve probably found your calling.

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