Write On Right Now!: You do it because it matters- 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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

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.


At Thursday, June 16, 2005, Blogger Kim said...

See, I've heard about people who take lunch in their cars, or who go to the car to write during their kid's dance class or soccer practice. I just can't do it. My need to socialize is too strong! I am hoping my friend's summer writing club (and the exercises she's "making" us do) will help me take better advantage of those small chunks of time I have.

At Thursday, June 16, 2005, Blogger Susan Taylor Brown said...

You know, you do what works for you at the stage of life you are in and with the tools you have. When I had young kids I was a stay-at-home mom with a passion for words an NO ONE TO TALK TO. I went nuts so I can totally understand your need to socialize. I wanted to take classes or something to have some adult conversation that didn't center around karate class or sleepovers or how many tater tots a kid could shove up their nose but my husband at that time wasn't keen on the idea. So I spent way too much time in kidtalk and not enough time around adults. Now my kids are grown, I'm feeling old, and quiet is nice.

Write on, right now.

At Friday, June 17, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

I noticed the syndicated feed for your journal keeps giving me a strange error message.

Error Message: RSS parser error: mismatched tag at line 250, column 4, byte 4799

I'm not sure why it's not loading, since when I click on the XML button, it goes right to your journal.

I sent a request to LJ support describing the issue and including the error message to see if they can tell me what the problem is. From the error message it sounds to me that maybe you have a tag in your journal that LJ doesn't recognize and so it gets stuck on that tag and can't format at all.

That's my uneducated guess since the other journals I've syndicated are also on Blogger and they come through with no problem.

Either support will fix the problem or I'll let you know what they suggest you can do to resolve it.

Stay tuned :-)

Cindy Lord

At Friday, June 17, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We fixed the problem, I think! It didn't copy the atom feed apparently when it went through.

Long story--short, I sent an email to person who make those changes and it'll happen in a day or two.


At Saturday, June 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear user,

The feed URL has been changed successfully.


LiveJournal.com Support Team

Give it a day to catch up, and we should be fine now.

:-) Cindy


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