Friday, November 8, 2013

I am a writer

"People come to me say and say I want to be a writer, what should I do? I say, write.  And sometimes they look at you as if you know the big secret and you're keeping it from them.  And sometimes people say, well I'm doing that.  What else should I do?  And I say you should finish what you write." Neil Gaiman

I am a writer.  It's what I have to remind myself of every day.  And what do writers do?  They write, that's what.

Years ago, like thousands of other would-be-authors, I told myself I would become a writer.  Three months later a wonderfully horrible short story came to life.  It had everything.  I showed and didn't tell.  The dialogue was stilted.  The ending was a classic deus ex machina, the rejection letter inevitable.

It was the first of multiple forays into writing.  Each time I've learned something and gotten better.  Until now I failed to learn the most basic part about writing: write.

Thinking about writing intoxicated me.  Reading about writing felt even better.  I devoured magazines and books describing the mechanics of creating fiction.  These activities took about 95% of my "writing" time.  See the problem?

So now I write.  I finish what I write.  I rewrite.  If it's good enough I send it off for publication.  And I start it over again.

So simple, right?  Neil's not the first or the last author to give that advice but somehow this time it clicked.

Thanks Neil.

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