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One of These Days You Are Going to Pay for All Those Times You've Been Right

There are a great many blogs and forums and such that I belong to. The writers quote of the day, or the moment or the minute are the things which I, and I assume, so many others use to delude ourselves into thinking that we are writers. If that is the case, what do we write? I personally have written a couple of stories, nothing of novel length to date though.

I made the decision about a year ago that I was going to be a writer. By Gods, I have a story. At least I think I do. I must....I mean I like stories and I am as creative as the next person, right? I want to tell that story. At least I would want to if I knew what the damned thing was about. You know, the one where the guy goes and does the thing against all odds that is an allegory for the terrible something that we all face? Yeah, that one.

OK, so I don't know what the hell I am doing. But I do know that I want to be a writer when I grow up.

I struggle with what to write. I have a thousand great ideas. I come up with opening paragraphs all the time and I must say they are quite brilliant. Opening paragraphs might get me on to the desk of the person that will publish my book, but it isn't going to do a thing if I don't finish the book.

I struggle with when to write. I have a full time job, three kids and wonderful wife that I already do not spend enough time with. I am a college student studying to enter a world that already has tremendous competition and a slim to no chance at me ever being successful in: An English teacher. Math and science teachers are in demand and I cannot help but wonder why I am doing this at all. It isn't as though I am going to graduate and be invited into the classroom of the nearest school and lauded as a boon the the educational profession. I will be lucky to find work at all in this field.

There are a number of things that professional writers all say. These are truths that we, as writers, live by and I will list a few that I have taken to heart.

1. Just Write. - Do it every day and do it consistently and who cares if it is crap, just write.

2. Show, don't tell. - or show and tell, depending on who is saying it. It appears that this one is one of those you can break from time to time but you have to be careful and do it only when you can get away with it, because you are good enough a writer to get away with it.

3. Eschew obfuscation. - Don't say anything with a big word that you can't say with a few smaller words. As one writer put it (I am too lazy to look up at 0100 exactly who it was) use plain old common Anglo Saxon words. I like that quote and though I don't have it verbatim, I will have to look that one up because I like it so much.

4. Take yourself seriously. - Who on Earth will take you seriously when you do not do it yourself? This is true for a lot of things in life. You have to take on the role before you become the thing. You want to be treated like an author? Act like one. You want to be a professional writer? Act like one. You want to be a respected member of anything? Act like it. When you become the thing internally, you will manifest the embodiment of that thing. Internalize it.

My Father taught me that anything the human mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Notice that the trick is believing it. It is not sufficient to just state it over and over again. You must know it, not think it. Yoda had it all figured out: "Do or do not, there is no try." You must KNOW it in order for it to become the truth. Perception is reality. If you perceive yourself to be a writer, you will be one. If you perceive yourself to be someone who never finishes a book, you will be one of those.

I am a writer. I sometimes make apologies for that, but I am working on it.

Coffee breaks over, back on my head.


Comments

  1. Michael, very well written post, much better then I ever could of done.
    The reason I couldnt write this post is because I would need an outline. Everything I do I use an outline to get to. In my writing I outline and write a paragraph or two for each chapter telling myself, for a later time, what i will put there, by the time I am done I usually have an outline a few pages long, but with that I can jump around from chapter to chapter, I dont have to go in order, so if I get stuck on a scene I move to another chapter and start that one, in the end as long as I followed the outline they all meld together as one book in the end.
    So when you write that great paragraph, add it to an outline and give it a chapter number.
    And yes write everyday, even if it is only 2o minutes of writing, you can outline at least 5 or 6 chapters doing that. Or write half of a whole chapter, as long as you have an outline to work off of.
    So in case you missed what I was suggesting...... make an outline.

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  2. Thank you Raymond. I absolutely agree that an outline is the way to go and for some this is not the case. The problem that I find myself getting into is the deciding what is going in to the story. Where do I want it to go and where do I want it to end. I must admit that I am getting better, but the getting better is going much more slowly than I want it to. I am a bit impatient. I think that is a good thing though, because it will force me to improve more quickly. I am too stubborn to quit. So I just keep plugging away at it until it surrenders. Ha. Thanks again for stopping by and for the great advice.

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