Tuesday, September 22, 2015

J is for Just Write It

J is for Just Write It

Welcome back for another installment of my A-Z blogging. Today I am continuing my pseudo tirade against indie writers (not really- please don't hate me).

For so long in my life (all 34 years of it), I told myself that although I wanted to be an author, I needed to wait. That's not to say that I didn't write, I just never finished anything or polished anything. I showed my stuff to a select few. Submitted a short story to my high school lit mag. But all-in-all, I never intended to truly pursue publication.

Why not, you ask?

I told myself I wasn't ready.
My skills weren’t good enough.
I needed to become a better writer.
No one would buy my stuff.
I didn't have the time to finish what I started.

The excuses went on and on, until finally about two years ago I had an event that shattered my world. I lost my job and my security and safety assumed in the traditional workforce shattered. As I found myself looking for work, my mind kept going back to my writing and I realized, I had been putting off my dreams of becoming an author for nothing. My precepts realigned; I had a paradigm shift in my thinking.

I saw my writing in a new light. I had so much I wanted to share, but I had believed that it needed to take a back seat to life. Now I see it as a natural element and extension of myself. I still have a day job to pay the bills, but my writing is more than a passing hobby now it is a genuine piece of my life.

I've talked before about how Entertaining Angels was a "testing the waters" moment for me. That one act emboldened me to continue down this path. To Tread the Narrow Path's serialization was my next step. In between, I've submitted to an anthology, and gotten involved with upcoming publications. My next move is to finish work on Lighthouse and pursue publication on that.

Two years ago, I started moving in the right direction. As an indie writer, I know the pitfalls that pop up in your head. Internally, you have to fight against all the doubts and fears. You can overcome your own insecurities by making yourself better. Read books on writing. Find some quality friends to read over your work, and listen to their advice. Find a good editor that will tear your work up and down, and listen to their critique. Better yourself as a writer and just keep writing.

This should be your mantra


Externally, being an indie writer/author is distracting. I've mentioned before how beneficial online writing groups are, but they can be dangerous as well. A problem that I've seen some groups fall into is the members end up talking about writing more than they actually write or hone their craft. I've seen people stress and sweat over the name of a character instead of getting words on the page. If you are going to become a member of an online community, be sure they build and strengthen your writing and it's not just a bunch of writers standing around patting each other on the back.

So, I guess, my advice is that if you are sitting around with your dream of writing resting on the back burner, do something about it. To co-opt Nike's slogan, "Just Write It." Get off your rear and finish your story, let people read it, find a good editor, and get it out into the world. Just write it.

#writermeme #justwriteit


Ok, as kind of a post script, this goes for any dream you may be putting off until tomorrow. I'm not saying that you need to act recklessly with your life/job/family, but following your dreams may not be as hard as you think. Just do it and see what happens.

Thanks, and as always, if you enjoyed what you've read, be sure to like, share, +1, etc…

Anthony.

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