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Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to (Not) Be a Writer

This is really going to be about what I'm not doing that Writers are supposed to do. I am not doing it because of various reasons. I suppose I could do a Top 5 Reasons why I'm Not Writing ... and How to Fix That! 

1. Guilt: 
Yep. I feel guilty about writing. Especially fiction writing. I wrestled with my genre (Romance) for years and years and decided that I am not a writer of "women's porn" but of Empowering Women to embrace their sexuality, their femininity and their POWER as women. I do not believe that Women understand their influence and significance. I want to give that to them. I feel guilty because I do not always remember either. So who am I to talk about such things? Yet, the more I write about them the more I believe and remember myself. 

Also, I am constantly reminded that my first priorities are my family. They are very time consuming. I hide from those responsibilities on occasion. The way I hide? Watching TV & movies, reading books and sleeping. 

There it is. All laid out for your inspection and chastisement. 

2. I turn off the voices.
The crazies in the attic, the girls in the basement, whatever you want to call them; they are there and I have learned to shut them off. It's not my internal "editor" I worry so much about but my ability to shut off the source of my stories. They are there; the characters, the settings, sometimes even the sub-characters like cats and horses and even cars. They talk to me and I shut them off. I can't do that right now, is what I tell myself and so I do the laundry, I make dinner, I turn off the computer so Superman can sleep and turn the voices off. So I have forgotten how to tap into my "magic." It's there but I've learned to shut it down.

3. Time:
I have the time. My kids are all in school. I have approximately five un-interrupted hours of work time four days a week (Superman is home on Fridays and I cannot shut out the world when he is home--that's just how it is). Yet, I am able to occupy that time by fretting over dishes, laundry and watching "my shows." (See #1 above about how I can "waste time.") 

4. Fear of Success:
Yep. That's another one. Not the, Oh My, what will do with the billions and billions of dollars I make when my book goes viral (like Twilight!). Hell No. I don't believe that will happen to me for a second (don't want it to!) but what if I write one book and it doesn't sell (failure) OR what if I do sell it then I have to stick to deadlines and due dates--which I'm not so good at. This is one reason why I have made the commitment to write every day in my blog. Because if I can do that then I can be successful at whatever I want to do (which I do believe I can, in my heart) and I won't let someone down. I have failed at the daily posting thing but I am getting better. Also, by making myself write SOMETHING every day I am writing every day, and every day I write ANYTHING I am closer to my dream

I want to believe I CAN DO THIS. It doesn't matter what anyone else believes (if I can or if I can't), If I Don't Believe It, It's Not Going To Happen. End of story.

5. Not Writing:
I open the Word program and it sits there. I don't go in. If I do it's to Thesaurus a word for my blog. I will start a blog post in there (sometimes, lately I've just been writing right into the Blogger program) but my own ideas, my fiction? No. I'm not doing it. And that is the killer. I just have to do it. The first day of NaNoWriMo I opened it up and wrote gobbly-gook until I figured it out and started writing. I like dialogue but I'm not so good at exposition (sometimes a good thing) so where is the dialogue taking place? My characters are "real" to me so it's not about not knowing my characters. I just need to let them loose and not be afraid of the process


Being a "real" writer always starts with "butt in chair" and ends with "finished product." Not necessarily ending with "publication" or "sale" which is fine with me, Finished Product would be sufficient to make me content. Satisfied. 

Finishing stuff makes me a Real Writer

When I grow up (Lord, help me to Grow Up!) I want to be a Real Writer. 

The End.


  1. Well, Lani would say it doesn't start with butt in chair, it starts with "making magic." Listening to music, looking for character pictures, making collages, soundtracks, watching great movies, watching great tv, reading great books, doing all the things that fill up your creativity tank. So sometimes it's just fine to not be Butt in Chair. And I do think she's right. Of course, you can't do that stuff during nano!

    Try out her Storywonk podcast, or the old Daily Storywonk podcasts. I think they might alleviate some of the guilt feelings etc. :-)

  2. Oh yes! I love the Storywonk podcasts! I don't have the whole daily backlog but I have listened to the Sunday ones pretty regularly for several months! Awesome stuff!
    I will probably always feel guilty. Working on it.

  3. I wonder if you might like Brene Brown's stuff on shame. She believes that admitting your vulnerabilities, your imperfections--that's true courage and heroism. So "who are you to talk about such things" ?? You're an authentic person!

  4. I am going to look up Brene Brown. Thank you!


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