You're ready now!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Don't put off starting!

You already know enough to start writing. You have what's in your head and you're heart. You have a lifetime of experiencing the world to inspire you.

You have a story inside you. It's time to tell it.

In her book, Bird By Bird, Anne Lamott talks about the time a student asked her, "But how? How do you actually do it?" And she told him, "You sit down. You put a piece of paper in the typewriter, or you turn on your computer and bring up the right file, and then you stare at it for an hour or so. You look at the ceiling, or the clock, yawn, and stare at the paper again. Then, with your fingers poised over the keyboard, you squint at an image that is forming in your mind- a scene, a local, a character, whatever- and you try to quiet your mind so you can hear what that landscape or character has to say above all the other voices in your mind. The other voices are the voices of anxiety, judgment, doom, and guilt. You clear a space for the writing voice, hacking away at the others with machetes, and you begin to compose sentences. You begin to string words together like beads to tell a story. It is a matter of persistence and faith and hard work. So you might as well just go ahead and get started."

E.L Doctorow once said that "writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way."

You won't get anywhere until you start. Take it one a time. You don't need to read another book on writing first. You don't need to do more research. You don't need to have more time. The time is now.

Just do it!

Start writing!

Right now!


The Fear Of Writing

Monday, February 27, 2012

Writing is scary. Ever since I decided to start to take my writing seriously I feel like I live in a constant state of anxiety. But from what I've read, this is perfectly normal.

It really is scary just getting to the desk- we're talking now five hours. My mouth gets dry, my heart beats fast. I react psychologically the way other people react when a plane loses an engine.

-Fran Lebowitz

Blank pages inspire me with terror.

-Margartet Atwood

We all start out as beginners. We have to give ourselves time to practice. We can't expect perfection right away.

Successful writers stick with it. Over time, they learn. They aren't scared off by bad writing.

Author Lawrence Block said that the most understandable trap is to wait for fear to subside before starting. "But it doesn't, won't, and shouldn't. Too much good writing comes from writers on the edge."

"You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer," said Margaret Atwood. "an almost physical nerve, the kind you need to walk along across a river."

Do you have the nerve to be a writer?

As beginning writers, we have to tackle the fear head on and refuse to let it stop us. Can you do it? I know I can.

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