Alice’s Restaurant

January 17, 2007

Just Do It

Filed under: Writing Life — aliceaudrey @ 11:37 pm

I used to hate Nike ads that use the line.  Just do it?  Like anything is really that easy.  Just do it could have me diving off bridges, slogging through the everglades, and generally out breaking my neck.

But when it comes to writing, there’s a lot to be said for “just do it.”

Now and then I will run across writers who desperately want to find an easy out.  They want rough drafts to come out perfectly polished.  They want to do it in ten days.  They want it to happen with minimal effort on their part.  So they agonize over how to write as few words possible and still end up with a book.

Bah!  What are they afraid of?  Hard work?  They will tell you no, that it has to do with precious time.  Considering how much time many of them waste by agonizing over, and begrudging the time spent writing, I have my doubts.

New authors in particular seem to resent writing anything that isn’t going to sell.  It pains them to have written a book only to discover it isn’t well enough written to make the grade.  They don’t want to write bits of dialogue or scene settings if it isn’t part of a book.

I find myself falling into the same trap now and then.  Every time I end up spinning my wheels, getting more and more frustrated.  Once I tell myself I am not afraid of work, I have time, and the story is worth the effort, everything flows much more smoothly.

They say the AVERAGE published writer will have written over a million words before she gets published.  So why not do some of those words in practice?  Why not try different versions of a scene using different techniques just to see how it might come out?

Why not quit worrying about whether or not the first, or second, or even third book is sellable, and simply write it because it’s a good story?

Alice

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4 Comments »

  1. Boy — is this an appropriate post for me. I often have to focus on how much fun it is to write the story and to enjoy “the trip” itself, and not waste all of my attention being anxious for “the destination” (i.e., publication)

    Comment by Pam Skochinski — January 18, 2007 @ 9:12 am

  2. It’s so easy to get hung up on wanting everything I write to count. I constantly have to remind myself to that I’m not afraid of hard work.

    Alice

    Comment by aliceaudrey — January 18, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

  3. Good advice Alice. It’s definitely a huge challenge to change your mindset from writing to sell and writing to write the story. But it’s rewarding to complete something, good or bad.

    Comment by Kelly — January 18, 2007 @ 6:36 pm

  4. Yep. 😀

    Alice

    Comment by aliceaudrey — January 19, 2007 @ 12:19 am


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