So I’ve been reading alot of blogs lately where writers talk about the struggles of sitting down and actually doing it. Writing. You can want and plan and strive and even intend to pour out all the ideas floating around in your head, but when that moment finally comes and you’re ready to start working, the inspiration goes. Or, the push to do it, I guess. EVERYTHING else suddenly becomes of the most dire importance. Everything else needs to be done immediately. “The trash needs to be taken out? I’m on it!” “Huh, what’s that? You need me to go to Walmart to stand in line for an hour to buy some bread? Baby, anything for you!”
Guys, come on.
The easiest thing to do is make excuses. We all do it. We’re all probably really good at it too. Believe me, there are times when I get stuck and I’m just looking for something to do. Anything. Anything would be better than forcing myself to keep going, to work through whatever plot/character/dialogue issue I’m having. Because that’s hard and hard things suck.
I was working on my first novel a few years agao (not EFH) and was just starring at my computer one night. I hadn’t written anything for maybe half an hour. And what I did write, I went back and deleted. “How do I go forward?” I thought. I’m stuck. And I’ve been stuck. I don’t know where to go next but I don’t want to stop.
So I weighed my options:
1.) Quit. It sucks but at least it’s easy. Find another project and start again. Maybe that one will work.
2.) Push through it. Just keep writing because even if it doesn’t sound wonderful and it’s not the direction you want it to go, you’ll discover the right path when you’re going down the wrong one. Push through it and at least you’re moving forward; at least you’re making efforts to find your story in this sea of confusion and doubt. Push through it and you’ll get past this; you’ll reach the other side.
You’ve got to push, push, PUSH through.
This has become my mantra whenever I get stuck and it’s helped me Every. Single. Time.
Now, I’m not immune to the severe frustrations of writing. I want everything to be the final draft the first time I write it. It’s in my head; I can see it. I want it to be done that first run through because if it’s not… then I’m not a good enough writer, right? If I don’t get it on the debut try then… what… I should give up? There’s this great quote that I always rely on when I want to smack myself for feeling like a failure because what I’m writing is absolute rubbish:
“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” – Margaret Atwood.
Thank God for common sense. Of course! Why would I think I’d get it right on the first shot? And who does that? Martians, that’s who. Definitely not us imperfect humans. We’re meant to work and work and work for it. We’re meant to push and push and push until we’re there. Writing it work. No one denies that. But you have to decide if it’s worth it. You have to know if the juice is worth the squeeze (The Girl Next Door, anyone? Yeah!).
I believe it was Thomas Edison who said “Genius is one percent inspiration and nintey-nine percent perspiration.”
You’ve got to want it, baby.
And you’ve got to be willing to work for it.