Before I begin with the entry, I encourage you all to check out my guest blog at project awesome. The link is here, and you can learn a bit about the podcasts. The link is here. Read it and come back here. I’ll be waiting.
Read it? Good.
Last night I convinced someone to write her novel.
I tend to be an encouraging guy. I want everyone to succeed. I don’t really care what your dreams are; I want you to have them. You deserve them. Make those dreams real, and make it so your dreams never were dreams at all.
I really believe that. So one of the most frustrating things for me is that there are so many people out there (writers, I am talking to YOU) that want to write that book, that want to
But you don’t.
I don’t know why you don’t. Maybe you think you’re not good enough. If you are one of those people I want to stop you right here. Good is a very relative term. “Good” is the most terrible answer to “How are you?” I know of. Why you ask? You say nothing. What is good?
Good you see is up for grabs. Good is an ideal, and you can’t quantify it with any form of measurement. Good is…meaningless.
When someone asks me how I am, I tell them, what is on my mind right that minute. Fine or good only come out of my mouth when I’m tired. I suck at small talk and have no intention of working to get good at it.
Upon further reflection, good may not quite be right here. Maybe it’s the phrase “Good enough.” I mean enough is kind of how we are conditioned in school you know? “You can be anything you want to be…provided you get an education.” or “provided you meet the requirements.” Now provided is a provision. The underscored, unmentioned word in provided is good enough.
Now before I continue, I’m not trying to denigrate getting an education. I bring up that example because it’s an easy example. Good enough is ingrained into us at a very young age. So that maybe when you get that calling inside you to write that book, you just don’t think the work, or you are good enough.
I’m here to say this: until you actually write the book, I don’t want you to think about the idea of “good” or “enough” or the words together. Instead I want you to focus on the more important thing.
Doing it. You know, putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, or even voice to phone. Really it doesn’t matter how you do it. I don’t care if you plot or pants (no pun intended) or some combination of the two. What matters is that you do it.
Doing and not doing is the biggest reason people do not make their dreams real. You have to actually put in the work to get things done. You have to be willing to make the sacrifices of your time and energy to work towards those goals you see yourself doing.
In short, if you’re a writer, you have to write. That means being on a keyboard like I am right now putting together this short little entry that’s trying to get you off your butt to write your face off.
You got a novel in you? Several? Great. Put the pen to paper. Write it down. Make sure the whole idea is out there, laid bare in its pure skeletal phase. When you get to the point of revisions, you can play around with it and take apart the guts of your work and put them back together – adding entrails, some meat and muscle to the prose you worked hard crafting together.
But to get to this point, you need to write. So that story you got in your head? I want you to write that first sentence right now. Take a pen, or turn on your word processor and put that sentence to the screen.
Afterwards, the next day, do it again. Add to the sentence with the next one. It will come to you. Even if all you do is sentence, little by little that masterpiece you have inside you will come out. It will tell you things you didn’t know to be true, and learn about your characters and yourself in the process.
Okay, enough blabbering from me. I got stuff to do. You do too. I’ll leave the entry with this quote. Remember it, and do it. Doing may be the most important thing of all, and with writing it’s no different.
Have a good one!