In Others’ Words: Start Writing, No Matter What

I’m in a “not writing” phase at the moment.

Except the moment has stretched over a number of days. And, while I’m not on a hard deadline, I do have things to write.

I have written blog posts … my In Others’ Words posts and other blog commitments. But that’s one type of writing, as opposed to working on fiction ideas. I’m a novelist. I write stories … except when I don’t.

Not writing for several days in a row is like deciding not to show up for work because I don’t feel like it. Imagine how long I’d keep a “real” job if I did that. Only writing is my real job — not a hobby. I get paid to write. I signed a contract for a 3-book series, and it’s time to work on book #2.

Today’s “Start writing, no matter what” quote provided a not-so-subtle kick in the pants to act like a real writer and write. Sure, it might be nice to toss my new novella idea around with a few writing friends. And yes, it’s always fun to Skype with other writers — getting face-to-face time while we talk about pitching at an upcoming conference or fast drafting a book. 

But talking is not writing. Putting words on the paper only happens when I get past all the reasons why I’m not writing — a busy schedule, I’m tired, my daughter’s volleyball games — and produce actual words that become sentences that become paragraphs that become pages that become the stories I want to write.

To be honest, I’m writing this blog post as a wake-up call for me. But I’m also challenging any other writers out there — pre-published or published — to “turn the water on” and get writing. The simplest definition of a writer is someone who writes. 

If you’re not a writer, what is your dream? Are you pursuing it or do you need to get started, no matter what?

In Others’ Words: What do you do to get the water flowing again if you’re not feeling inspired to pursue your passion or goals?

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8 Comments

  1. September 14, 2017, 12:17 am   /  Reply

    not about inspiration

    it about survival

    keep breathing no matter what

    then rise and smite the enemy

    as he gloats your death

    • September 14, 2017, 6:29 am   /  Reply

      Andrew:

      Know that you are an inspiration to me and to many others.
      You never abandon your post. You always, always face each day with courage. And you care for others and for those dogs that you have rescued and given a home.
      Praying for you, dear friend.

  2. September 14, 2017, 9:35 am   /  Reply

    My biggest flaw is getting distracted also doing other worthwhile demanding projects that change my focus: tutoring, online college teaching, editing for hire, school runs for grandkids, and those can take the freshness out of me for approaching my own writing. My best discipline seems to be doing my writing early before the other projects. If necessary, go away from home to write so my time is less disrupted–whatever it takes. I’m very happy on the days this works and try to learn motivating lessons from the days it doesn’t.

    • September 14, 2017, 1:24 pm   /  Reply

      Dee: You said it so well: Other things take the freshness out of me, too. And the other things can be so important, so valued — and yet our writing is so important too and cannot be shoved aside.

  3. Andrea Cox
    September 14, 2017, 9:43 am   /  Reply

    Beth, you can do this! God has given you a beautiful gift with words. So sit down with Him and write down the words He gives you… and especially those tokens of literary genius you have to fight hard to reach. The finished product is worth it. Not only will you have an amazing book to share with readers, but you’ll also know yourself a little bit (or a lot) deeper, and you’ll know God deeper too (and that is the most important part, if you ask me).

    My schedule is busy too. Three jobs, a house to keep clean, and shelves full of books to read will do that to a person. But I’m purposely making time this week to brainstorm a new character. He’s the lead in a new story I want to write next month, and I need to know who he was in order to see who he is currently and who he will become through the course of the screenplay. But like you, I realized that, for the last couple of weeks, I was intending and even wanting to write, but I wasn’t turning on the water. There was no flow of words. So I looked at my schedule… and was overwhelmed with how busy it is. But I also found little windows of time that I could steal for the brainstorming I need to do over the next few weeks (different pieces of the story will be brainstormed over the next three weeks) so I’ll be ready to write the first draft in the early weeks of next month, when my schedule supposedly will lighten up again.

    And if it doesn’t lighten up?

    Well, then I’ll take another peek at my schedule and see what other bits of time I can steal away and apply to keeping my fingers gliding across my keyboard.

    We can do this, my friend. Because God has given us a gift for writing. And like you said, a writer is someone who writes.

    • September 14, 2017, 1:26 pm   /  Reply

      Andrea: Thank you for your loving encouragement, friend.
      And good for you for examining your schedule and making time to brainstorm that new character. You are so correct that we need to know who our fictional characters are before we can write the stories on our hearts!

  4. September 14, 2017, 8:16 pm   /  Reply

    Thanks for the kick in the pants. I’m in the same boat you are. Know I should be writing, but…at least I figured out why I haven’t been able to get started. I must write out my antagonist’s backstory and goals. Will do that first thing in the morning and hopefully get a scene written. 🙂

    • September 14, 2017, 10:22 pm   /  Reply

      Pat: I’m glad I encouraged you as I encouraged myself. Let’s check in with each other, shall we? 🙂

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