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Monday, May 17, 2010

Crafting the Craft

Writers are an unusual breed of animal. Attend a writers conference if you want visible proof. In most people's perceptions, we walk off beat, turn left when everyone else turns right, we skip when everyone else marches, and we find everything fascinating. We get lost in minutia, flora, fauna, on the way to the mall. We have more bits of useless information stored in our overactive craniums than the average Joe. We covet alone time, solitude, and quiet.

We need these in order to create worlds on the page. We obsess over words, commas, semicolons. We are thrown into a dither when the right simile escapes us. We plot, diagram, and create characters while dozing off at night--or in the tub, or driving down the road, or having our hair done. Writers are hardwired by God with the ability to see, to see at a level others miss, to see in order to communicate the human experience on a blank piece of paper.

I acknowledge this heartily.

These wonderful gifts that enable us to write are a double-edged sword (couldn't resist the Biblical imagery). When left in an immature state, these very abilities can cause us to procrastinate, to wander aimlessly from one conference to another, to underachieve, to dream rather than do. I've been to a variety of writers conferences and without exception, I've met fruitless writers at each one.

These writers spend all their time planning to write, planning to pitch, and planning to be published. They never get around to the doing part. I'll be the first to admit, I don't like the disciplines of writing. The research, incessant note taking, and sitting hour after hour day after day typing. Pouring over dictionaries and the thesaurus to insure every word is perfect. Bearing my soul, reading yet another book to help me become the writer God intends me to be. Most, I dare say, agree but, it's a fact. Rather than argue with it, accept it. Fruitless writers talk the talk but never get around to doing anything.

Do, honey, do. Stop telling us that you're going to. Just do it!

They suffer from what I call the Butt in Chair syndrome--they won't put their butts in the chair and pound away at the keyboard. I've heard all the excuses. Many fear they won't be able to write once they sit with the blank screen staring back. My question is: how would they know? They've never sat long enough to type anything.

Bottom line is this: sit, type, do. Stop the writers conference groupie thing and write. Don't talk about writing, don't think about writing, don't plan writing. Just do it!


Jenny M. said...

What a timely commentary. Two days ago, I started the book I've been threatening to start for years. And I'm excited about it. Thank you for the encouragement.

A_Heart_Like_Mine said...

Oh yeah! Give it to them... 8^) Love the first true!

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