I waited a full day before seriously entertaining the idea of posting this to my blog. But, as my one friend mentioned, this is my blog, my life, and my career — these are my opinions. I often take a positive angle with my writing. I want to encourage people, not discourage them. But, there comes a point where the truth needs said. I said it yesterday. Today, I still believe in every word, so I'm going to say it again today.
This is a Ranty Pants McGee Moment.
I like to think of myself as patient. Struggling writers strike a chord with me. I've been there, I've done that. I know what it's like to walk in those shoes. I spent years floundering about in them, through the muck and the mud. But, now that I'm on the other side of it, I find myself wanting to do what I wish had been done to me, and scold them.
So, I'm going to probably embarrass myself, probably act like a complete unprofessional buffoon, and refuse to care I'm doing so. Why? Because I needed this told to me, directly, and with much force.
I might not have wasted so many years being stupid and idiotic, if someone had told me how stupid and idiotic I was for not taking my writing and myself seriously.
So, here I go.
Don't complain to others about how you have a hard time writing unless you're ready to shut the hell up, sit the hell down, and make serious efforts to write. Sitting down and simply stating you're trying to work isn't taking yourself seriously. It isn't taking your writing seriously. If you sit down, and you start browsing the internet, of course you're not going to get anything done.
You're wasting your time.
When you whine and cry over how hard it is to write, without putting in the hours of hard work to back how hard it is to write, you're not just wasting your time. You're wasting the time of the writer or editor who is putting up with you as you wallow in pointless self pity.
Writers write. You've heard it before, and frankly, it's the truth.
If you aren't writing, you aren't a writer. Claiming writer's block is just another way of saying “I am not a writer.”
Get used to the idea. So, you want to write a novel. Great. I'll support you in that. I'll listen to you when you have a problem. I'll even offer suggestions, if you want them. Have a character problem you don't understand how to fix? Ask people. You might find an answer. Got a plot problem?
There are many people who are willing to help you sort it out.
However, if you say you have writer's block, and make excuses on why you can't write, you are not a writer. Get over yourself.
Writers sit down, put words to the page, and do not make excuses.
Life sometimes gets in the way. People have to work to eat. But, there is time to write, if you make it. Five minutes of time is enough to write a few sentences. That's writing. It takes discipline to sit down, and write right away. It's a habit that needs formed. Once you have that habit, though, you'll sit down, and you'll write. You won't stare at the screen. You won't tap a pen to a blank page, wondering what to write.
You'll sit there, and you'll write. You'll work, because your mind and body know it is time to work.
To get there, you need to prove to yourself you're serious. You need to take yourself, and your dream to write, seriously.
Writers don't sit there and say they had to work and they were tired when they got home.
They write three, four, or five sentences when they get home. Then they say they're tired.
Writers don't sit there and give up because a scene is challenging. They put words on the screen, one word at a time, until they've soldiered through it.
Writers don't approach their writing and editor friends, complaining about how difficult something is without making serious efforts to put words on a page.
You can't edit words you haven't written, and any editor (and writer) worth their salt will respect the effort more than the blank page.
They don't make excuses. Sure, we complain. It's hard work, writing. It's really hard work. It takes a lot of dedication, a lot of effort, and a lot of determination.
But writers sit down and they make it happen.
Earn the right to complain by doing the work and complaining about it after you've done it.
If you're complaining about work you haven't done, you refuse to do because you're making excuses and ‘finding reasons you can't do it',you are not a writer and please stop calling yourself one.
Get over it, get over yourself, and write. That's how you get better. That's how you finish a novel. That's how you make your writing dream a reality.
Respect the other writers and editors in your life, and don't complain and whine to them about not writing. All you do is make them uncomfortable because they write. Worse, you make them think thoughts like mine:
If you're so serious about writing, why is it you're complaining to me instead of writing?
Don't be that chronic, non-writing someone who manages to annoy all of their writer friends without ever having anything to show for the time and effort that has been put into you by other writers and editors who genuinely care about the craft.
Maybe I'm being a bitch because of this stance, but if you're going to corner me into spending my time helping you with your writing, don't waste it. Don't take away time from my clients and my own writing when you are not serious about yourself or your writing.
It's rude. It's not just rude, it's completely inconsiderate to the people around you.