Write On Right Now!: Barriers to our writing- Writing Prompts & Exercises to Get You Writing Now!

Write On Right Now!

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to write. And that would be me. I've moved my journal about my writing life over to LiveJournal http://susanwrites.livejournal.com This blog will be filled with writing prompts and exercises so we can all write on right now! Please feel free to share your favorites.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Barriers to our writing

Lately in some of my writing circles there have been conversations about barriers to our ability to write and publish. Mothers with young children struggle to find the time between child-raising duties. People who work full-time squeeze writing into the pockets of their time. Editors send rejections for stories we were sure they would buy. These things get in the way of writing but I don't think they are the real barriers to our writing. I think the real barrier is us.

I know it is hard for some people in the face of many rejections to keep on writing. I have books that have sold after 27 rejections. I have lots more waiting to be rejected before they find their perfect home. Heck, no matter how many books or stories or articles you publish being rejected will always hurt. And no matter how many times you tell yourself, or someone tells you, not to take it personally, sometimes you will. That's because writing is a heart job. We pour ourselves into what we write and we want the validation of being published to tell us it is worthwhile.

Go ahead and quit if you think you can. If you can't, then accept the fact that there will be good writing days and bad writing days. There will be days when you have time to write and don't and days where you manage to write in-between chores and dayjobs and cooking dinner. There will be rejections and acceptances. It's good to remember the pleasure in the process of writing but sometimes it's a hard process and the pleasure fades. That's why you have a critique group. That's why you have a writing buddy that you can call or write to on your down days who reminds you that you write because you can't NOT write.

For me, editors are NOT the barrier. They have been savvy folks who, yes, are looking to fill a niche perhaps but have helped me see things about my work that I was too close to be able to see for myself.

If there's a barrier in writing it's me.

Being afraid to write what I want to write because it might not be marketable, might have a small audience, might not be understood, might make me an enemy, might tick off my mom. Substitute your own excuse of the week.

Being afraid to take chances with my writing that will stretch me and help me grow.

Being afraid to be the writer I am capable of being because what if I fail, what if I succeed, what if someone doesn't like who I become, what if "I" don't like who I become?

Being afraid I'm not good enough to tell the story I want to tell because I don't have the skillset, because I don't know where to find the information, because someone told me it was a dumb idea.

Just plain being afraid is the only barrier to me. The rest is scenery along the way.

Writing defines me. Publishing pays me. It takes wisdom to know the difference.

Write on, right now.


At Sunday, June 26, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An honest post that reminds me that I can be my own worst enemy. Thanks for this! And thanks for sharing your rejection stories. I had a rough run for awhile, but now I'm chomping at the bit to get back to my writing (once i get back from my sister's wedding)! The barrier was indeed me. I can't quit - ideas keep forming, characters keep talking to me, and the dream lives on. I am Writer, hear me Type. ;)

At Sunday, June 26, 2005, Blogger Kim said...

A great post! I always try to remind myself that time is not the true issue. It's how I choose to spend the time that is the issue.

At Monday, June 27, 2005, Blogger Susan Taylor Brown said...

Debbi, I love it - I am Writer, hear me Type. I see a T-shirt and a bumper sticker in our future. I bet you will write like crazy once the wedding is behind you.

Kim, You're doing a tough balancing act. Keep it up, word by word.


At Tuesday, June 28, 2005, Anonymous debbi michiko florence said...

I am writer, hear me type! Yeah...let's do t-shirts, stickers, buttons.....hmmm....
I feel a Distraction coming along! ;)

At Wednesday, June 29, 2005, Blogger Sara Z. said...

Great attitude. This is why you will succeed! It's easy to get frustrated and bitter and blame external forces, but at the end of the day every writer has to look at herself and deal with it.


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