"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.