Saturday, April 07, 2007

Snow and Other Good Reasons to Write

It's April 7th and snowing. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. One thing is for sure, it doesn't feel like spring.

Fortunately, the book I'm working on takes place in winter. It's hard to write warm weather when it's freezing out!

Speaking of which.....

If you've been procrastinating, putting off, perhaps even avoiding here are a few good reasons to write -

It's the Best Kind of Therapy.

Sad? Angry? Feeling a little crazy? Sometimes it's hard to write when we feel emotionally drained or overly excited. Really, though, that's the best time to put words to page. To write compelling characters we must understand the depth of their pain and the height of their joy. Don't be afraid to let your own emotions color the sentences and paragraphs you're crafting. It's easy enough to tone down emotion in our stories, but not so easy to add it in once the story is complete.

Little Steps Bring Big Success.

Any task can seem overwhelming if we look at it in its entirety. Piled-high laundry, overflowing sink, too-tight jeans. If we look at all we have to accomplish, we often feel like we can't accomplish anything. While I tend to be a big-picture person, the big picture is often overwhelming. To keep myself moving forward, I focus on one small task at a time - one load of laundry, one load of dishes, one pound, one paragraph, one page. Sure one page doesn't seem like much, but over the course of a year, I'll have written a novel.

It Isn't the Destination. It's the Journey.

I can't remember who said that, but I agree. If you're putting off writing because you don't think you'll get published, or because you're not sure you know enough about writing, or because you can't (pick your poison) attend conferences, afford a good computer printer, network, enter contests, etc, then you're missing the point of being a writer. The truth is, a real writer writes. Published or not. Certain of success or not. Ready or not. She writes. It's part of her journey and part of her life, a gift knit into the very fiber of her being. The rhythms of words and sounds, the melody of characterization and plot, those are things she learns as she experiments with stories and ideas.

So, on this snowy April day, write. Because you should. Because you have to. Because it's your gift and your burden.

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