If you were to slice off the top of a writer’s head (and I really hope you wouldn’t) to peer inside, you might see a bustling galaxy; no stars or planets—instead, a whirling mass of words and phrases and story ideas.
Is it any wonder most writers are considered to be on the cusp of insanity?
We writers share a common bond that separates us from the rest of the world: We are madly in love with words. We love to hear them and see them and say them. We love to discover brand new ones and when we do, we roll them around and around on our tongues like a fine piece of chocolate. Most of all, we love to express them on paper or screen
I know I don’t just speak for myself when I say that a day does not pass that I don’t have a story concept brewing in my mind. It’s in my DNA, like eye colour or blood type.
So if that’s the case, why aren’t Indigo’s shelves collapsing from the weight of my thousands of best-selling novels?
Well, it’s like this…Time is my enemy (excuse!). There is never enough of it (excuse!). Not only does my job suck the bulk of it dry (excuse!), my family and other responsibilities suck up the rest (excuse!). When I retire, I’ll have lots more of it, so that’s when I plan to knuckle down (excuse!).
The fact is this: there will never be enough time. That’s just the way life is.
But I do want to write. I yearn to write. The words in my galaxy are always pounding away at the hatch in their struggle to escape. After all, I find plenty of time to read the work of other writers. I find time to pursue my other creative endeavors. I find time to watch House Hunters International, for Pete’s sake. But do I write every day? Not really. Could fear be at the root of my excuses? Fear of failing at the one thing that truly defines me? Maybe that’s it. (Excuse!)
One of the first rules all writers learn is that we have to force ourselves to sit down and write every single day; better yet, at the same time every day. It doesn’t matter if in that moment we have nothing worth writing about. All that matters is that we make the effort to sit in front of a blank page with a pen or keyboard at our fingers. Discipline = habit. Get in the daily habit of opening that hatch and releasing those pent-up words and they’ll eventually fall into place. They may even form a constellation that marks the beginning of a brilliant novel or short story or poem or article.
There is only one way to fail and that is to do nothing.
No more excuses.