On Waiting For The Perfect Words

My first book was horrible. No, worse than that. It wasn’t even a book. It was a bunch of words cobbled together and then tossed in a blender. I thought it was interesting and well written at the time (if I showed it to anyone of you reading this I’m sorry. I’m sure it was painful). I remember a few sentences I wrote, “The horse beside him trudged slowly onward beside him.” And also, “after walking through the forest for an hour, they can to a large forest.”

Forest Path
Look! Another forest!

Ouch.

First drafts are terrible. I thought what I wrote was good at the time (roughly 10 years ago). Really good. I think I even had delusional thoughts of being a professional someday.

It did not take long for me to come back to earth. I reread it after setting it aside for a few months and realized how poor the writing was. I did not roll up into a ball and cry, however, I was proud. Proud, you ask? I was proud because it was done. I’d written a book! And every new draft I’ve written since has been better. Better planning and grammar. Better mechanics and literary tools to create something more beautiful. It is more than that though. Each word put on the page is a march along the path to publication. At times this path might lead me further away from my goal, but I am on a road. Occasionally, I find a short cut.

I write this post to those who fear of doing it wrong. It may be something you’ve heard a thousand times here and possibly with a writer friend or two but excellent planning without any actual writing is useless. It’s like planning and saving for a trip but when the time comes, you report to work.

As a writer, my goal is to tell a story. I want to finish one and do the best I can, but writers must learn by reading a lot and writing every day. Don’t believe me? Head over to Kristen Lamb’s Blog, she’s a professional. Yesterday’s post was about balancing writing and life. It is worth your time.

I hope you find courage and tenacity today my friends. Courage to move forward into the unknown of another page and tenacity to get up and do it again tomorrow.

Cheers,
Bob

Write When You Don’t Feel Like It

I’d much rather be sleeping right now. In fact, I would like to read or watch a movie or TV or even do housework, yet here I am writing. I don’t write these things because I am about to give up, it’s just how I feel at the moment.

Sooner or later writing can lose its luster and fill us with an unappetizing melancholy. Our former story that was once clever and came surprisingly easy, suddenly becomes work or we don’t have the gumption to begin a new one.

This happens to everyone. Then in our frustration, we make a huge mistake. We stop.

We put that project on hold for a month or take a break and watch some football. What we are really doing, when we admit it deep down, is giving in to our inner voice of doubt. We start to believe the lies we tell ourselves, or lies told to us.

We aren’t good enough. Our ideas are stupid. No one in their right mind would try to make it in life as a ____.

Then all of a sudden we don’t think something is hard, we know it is impossible to finish this book or story. We wasted our lives being delusional and following our dreams.

If you’ve been here or this sounds familiar, I have three words for you – Don’t give up.

A Well Tended Novel, er Garden.

These three words might sound trite or lame, but if you truly want to do this thing, If you want it more than anything, how about showing a little tenacity? How about sacrificing an hour of sleep or TV to rekindle the love?

Like any untended garden our dreams can become riddled with weeds. These can choke and pull us down. If we aren’t out there every day or once a week working on our writing, our love for it will die.

If you are here now and still have that small kernel of hope to finish, I have three steps I would like you to take below.

1. Write down your dream on a note card. Put it by your desk or workspace or in your car. Put it someplace where you can see it and be reminded of your end goal every day.

2. Then, look ahead to your week. Find an hour. Find a half-hour. Find some time throughout your week to commit to writing. Do not compromise it. Use that time to work and focus on your project and don’t get distracted.

3. Repeat.

If you have done something that reignited your passion for writing and got motivated about your story again let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure the other readers would benefit as well. Thank you in advance.

Write 500 words today!!

Cheers,

Bob