You do it because it matters
I still don't have a commitment to what I am going to write next but at least I am thinking more about writing than I am worrying about the layout of a webpage.
A HUGE thank you to Cynthia Lord author of RULES (coming from Scholastic Press, Spring 2006) for syndicating me on her Live Journal. She heard me begging for answers about how to do it on Debbi's Live Journal. It all only goes to show, once again, what I have always known - children's book people are the very best.
Then I reconnected with Haemi Balgassi which just gave me one of those great warm, fuzzy feelings that you just can't get enough of and then she blogged such nice words about my new site. [happy sigh for my wonderful day.]
But back to thinking about writing. A book is rarely finished the first time we think it is. When I first started writing I know that I sent my work out long before it was ready. I didn't have a critique group at the time, I had only taken a couple of classes, and off it went. By the time it came back to me several months later I had taken more classes and suddenly realized how little I knew about the structure of the book I was trying to write. It's frustrating to have to redo something you think is done.
Part of it is learning the craft. And you learn the craft yes by reading, yes by taking classes, but mostly by writing. And writing and writing. It's tough. It's a commitment you have to make. The most successful writers are not always the most talented ones, or even the ones with the most unique ideas. The most successful writers are the ones that write, and continue to write, even in the face of the rejections and the staggering odds of success.
Write every day. Even if it is only a sentence, an idea, a few lines. You need to do this. Sports teams have to practice every day to maintain their stamina and ability. Writing is no different. Truly it isn't. I can tell when I haven't been writing enough. I stumble for the write word. I start doubting what I put down on the page. Writing begets writing.
I read an article about a teacher who asked people why they were in his writing class. Why did they want to write? There was only one correct answer...and that's because you can't help yourself. Because you are not complete, not being true to yourself unless you are writing. Because you need to write as much as you need to eat and to breathe. It sounds funky, but it's true. That's the dedication that it takes to be in this business, and it is a business.
I am not a nice person when I am not writing. My husband knows this. My mother knows this. My friends know this. My children knew this and when they were little and they used to ask me to go to my room and write because I wasn't any fun. Being a writer is a lifestyle choice for many of us. That's how we switch gears....because we have to. I work full time and yet, somehow, I find pockets of time to write. Because I have to.
I write in my head when I walk the dog. I take notes every morning in the half hour it takes me to go through the metering lights to get on the freeway. I send emails from work to home when I have ideas. I don't take lunch in the cafeteria where I will be tempted to visit with people. Instead I bring my lunch and use lunchtime to write or edit. I rarely clean house. I'd rather write.
You do what you have to, because it matters to you. That's just the way it is. And writing matters to me.
Write on, right now.