Thursday, January 27, 2011

Writing determination

First I want to apologize for failing to but up a post the last two days. I'm really trying to make this regular, but it's going to completely depend on work and it's been crazy and I have had all late nights this week, hence the no posting. But that's beside the point right now, isn't it?

I want to share two quotes that I've recently taken to heart:

First: "If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." Author Unknown

Second: "Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend to them than inspiration." Ralph Keyes

If you're paying attention (and I know all of you are, because you are that brilliant) you'll notice the common denominator here. And I'm going to borrow by friend's words here for a moment. If you want to be a writer, you're going to have to "Suck it up."

Writing requires time and commitment. You can't just say, 'Oh, I'm going to write a novel today," and have anything worth it at the end of the day. For years I have been lacking on my personal writing outside of school and work (mind you, I had journalism/literature/creative writing majors in college and I am now a reporter so I do a ton of non-personal writing all the freaking time). I would participate in NaNoWriMo every year during college and then promptly not work on anything for at least six months where I would piddle around and actually accomplish nothing.

If you want something, you will do it. If you don't you'll find excuses. I'm good at excuses, but I'm done with them. I've been writing almost every day, whether I like it or not. Some days I only get an hour - some days as much as three. I work a lot, so I do have to fit what I'm doing in fiction outside of what I'm doing for work. I have not ever written for my personal use at work, and that's a priority of mine. But it also means I'm not ready to give up on my dreams.

I want them, so I have to make them come true. And that's where the second quote comes in. I can't wait until inspiration strikes, because that's rare these days when I'm writing so much for work every day. It doesn't matter that I'm tired and I've written six articles that day. I have to work on a chapter of my WIP too. That's how it goes. That's how I'm going to make it. That means I might actually get to the point where I can publish something.

Because that's what you have to do first. To be published you have to have something to publish first. It's not the other way around.

So tell me, writers-to-be - when do you write? Do you force yourself through, or do you wait for inspiration to strike? How bad do you want it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Sarah Robertson said...

Ahahaha, you know what I do. I mope about when I'm being particularly whiny and then I SUCK IT UP. It's really nice to have those wonderful moments of plot breakthrough though.

Erin said...

Those are wonderful quotes! I've heard the first one before, but not the second. Thanks for sharing!

I force myself to write/revise/edit on a fairly regular schedule, but I definitely write more (and enjoy the writing more!) when inspiration is high. I take advantage of those days when they come and work through the rest of the days the best I can!

Kate said...

I like this quote "Action comes before Inspiration." SARK. I know this but I tend to forget it all the time. I have been the writer who does Nano, gets burned out till July and then start rewriting and then November comes and I put it aside, I lose all that momentum to start another project that I put aside again. Not this year, I put an old nano into Scrivener, I am organizing what I have got and soon will be in the rewriting stage. If I am not done by November, I'll be skipping nano this year. I think it takes determination and some guts to finish a novel and of course some days you really do have to suck it up.

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