Monday, October 20, 2008

For Want of a Little Courage...

"There is probably no hell for authors in the next world -- they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this." --- C. N. Bovee

I got a late start on my essay this week due to the dreaded onslaught of cramps. Luckily, the day before they hit I got a call from my mentor. Nothing like a pep talk to keep your spirits up while stuck underneath a heating pad! *Grin*

On the phone, I let my worries spill out, and one by one each concern was addressed. Made me realize too, just how challenging it is for writers to keep that confidence high. Even one who writes motivational essays! *chuckle*

Concern #1:
I'm reading a novel by Author Who ROCKS and it's soooo awesome. I can't imagine how I could be that good. Wah!

"A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage." --- Sidney Smith

Don't try to be like anyone but yourself. YES, you can be "that good" but only if you give up the notion you're like anyone else. Find your passion and let it consume you. Don't worry about markets or submissions or critics. Focus on creating an obsession with your story. You'll need it because no matter what impression you get while listening to others, writing is work. Hard work. Endless work. You Need Passion. And you'll never find it trying to be like someone else. Be Yourself. And take a chance.

"Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself." --- James F. Stephan

Concern #2:
My book is taking too long. What's the point of even finishing it?

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --- Douglas Adams

Here's a tidbit to keep you going. Last night I dug out an old Time magazine from my ToBeRead pile and scored this little fact. Mark Twain took ten years to write Huckleberry Finn. TEN YEARS. Writing takes time. No getting around it. We must invest time, patience and energy in order to complete those manuscripts. Each stage requires patience. Writing, submitting, editing, promoting… So let's get busy. Stop staring at the clock and redirect your focus on the flame of imagination ablaze within your soul.

"The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair." --- Mary Heaton Vorse

Concern #3:
How can I get past the cycle of procrastination?

"Perhaps it would be better not to be a writer, but if you must, then write. If all feels hopeless, if that famous 'inspiration' will not come, write. If you are a genius, you'll make your own rules, but if not - and the odds are against it - go to your desk no matter what your mood, face the icy challenge of the paper - write." --- J. B. Priestly

Honestly, there's only one answer.


Unless you push yourself it just won't happen. There will always be an opportunity to avoid work. And writing is work. No matter how fun, no matter how rewarding, no matter how inspiring. It's work. Don't feel guilty for avoiding it! Just because it's a blast doesn't mean the effort isn't exhausting! Accept that because the act of creation requires tremendous energy a part of you will yearn to pull up that computer game or flip through magazines or surf websites or read blogs. *cough* Of course, the last can be forgiven if the blog happens to be mine! *heh-heh*

Yup, you can feel guilty. You can expend all kinds of energy beating yourself up. Or… you can write. In the end, which will be more fun? *smile*

"The only way to learn to write is to write." --- Peggy Teeters

Autumn leaves are falling. Ghoulish faces peer out from the Jack-O-Lanterns plopped on neighbor's porches. Breathe in some crisp fall air and then WRITE! *grin*

One sentence, one page, one book at a time. We Are Writers! Now, let's get to work.

Ready to set goals?

This week:

15 pages.
Crit of friend's book.

How about you?

Go-go-GO! Write-write-WRITE!



Lisa Marie Wilkinson said...

This was very inspiring, and it might be just the kick in the pants I need right now, LOL.

Sandy said...

Hey, Chiron, it does help when we get a call from our lovely mentor. Doesn't it make you angry when someone says, I could've wrote that? I just say, go ahead and do it. Of course, they never do. People think it's so easy to write a book, but it definitely isn't.


Chiron said...

Hey Lisa,

Thanks so much for stopping by! Wishing you loads of productivity this week. *smile* Write-write-WRITE!!


Chiron said...

Hi there Sandy,

Definitely helps. And inspires essays! *grin*

Yup, it's a hoot when people say, "I could've..." Writing always seems so easy. *laughs* But we know better, don't we?

Thanks for being here...


Inspire said...


When I first started writing I had a few people say, 'You can't write a book!' I blew them off.

Writing is a joy to me, the heavenly side of this career. I love it when a chapter pours out and I move my novel in progress closer to 'the end'. There is beauty in writing.

It's the business side that can be hell. But only if you allow it to get to that point. Discouragement is the culprit. It's all in the way you look at it. If a writer looks as a rejection letter as one step closer to the agent or publisher they are meant to have, discouragement is defeated.

Chiron said...

Hey Rita,

You've got the right attitude. Seeing rejections as one step closer is perfect. *nods*

There IS beauty in writing. Very well-put...

Thanks so much for stopping by and congrats Again on getting your book picked up! Woo-hoo!!


Diana Castilleja said...

Great post Chiron. A little inspiration is a good thing. :)

Chiron said...

Thanks so much, Diana!