A task in school was to write down a word and take each letter of that word to describe what the letter meant to you. This quirky game allows me down time from writing, while still sparking examination of me as a writer. I’d like to take the word WRITER and see what I can do with each letter.
W is for work. Nothing gets accomplished without energy, time, and patience. A novel, for my friends who are in awe, please know it’s the pure drive keeping up me up late. . . click, click, click away telling a completely made-up story. I think a writer, particularly fiction writers, eat, drink, and breathe solitude. Compulsion for perfection of a story, plot, character, even the title, drives one crazy with endless days, months, or years of edits and rewrites. How long should the story be? How to end the story? Traditional Publish versus Self-Publish. Research, outline, research, and outline, can take more time than writing the whole book! Let’s not forget choosing the story’s genre, pacing the story, and even deciding what person to write in. . . As I unlock this letter W (yes, enough pages for it own book!) I realize although writing is my love, it can be and IS W O R K.
R is for reflection. What made me want to write that story is a common paint-yourself-in-the-corner. I’ve talked to writers who wrote a story, then can’t come up with an end, or can’t come up with a good title. One reflection that I very well understand is deciding whether or not to write in the first place. Pondering story possibilities, expertise in writing, criticism, and what to do with the finished product is overwhelming. Now, with marketing, social media—what to do??? I pick and choose my goals and priorities. Writing my novel(s) is my number one objective. In reflection, no matter where I am in the social media blitz, if I don’t have a story I’m proud to have written, what is the point? My reflection is NOT to paint myself into a corner, but to breathe between each word.
I is for interest. To love what you do, is to love what you do. That being said, the idea of spending hours, days, and even years of writing to re-writing, isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s hard when family and friends aren’t compassionate, are critical, or spark jealously with little nasty judgmental snaps (I’m fortunate because my family and friends are supportive.). This is MY RULE: No one has to understand what I do, EXCEPT ME. I had a published writer friend, who I’d known for years. . . she and I don’t talk anymore (okay with that). I never told her I wrote because mine was a private interest and I felt I couldn’t compete with her. When she by accident found out I was writing, I felt her judgmental tone that I owed her an explanation. To write out loud or behind closed doors is my personal interest and something bringing me joy. I think joy in life can be found through time of knowing what makes you happy. It can take a year or years.
T is for tired. Energy is a necessity to live in balance. Lack of sleep, bad eating habits, and little or no exercise pits you against all demons who will rob you of creativity. I know from sitting at this desk for hours and not letting a drop of water or an ounce of food come near me, I’m doing myself more harm than good. I need to take a break, maybe even a day or two to re-vamp my mind. I give myself permission.
E is for entitled. I believe writers are entitled to write whatever they feel important enough to say. Fiction and life are just shades of black and white. Freedom of expression allows choices. For me, there are subjects I personally don’t want to write about, but to dishonor a writer for the genre they choose is a discredit to the art itself.
R is for reason. I don’t need a reason to write. I write for enjoyment. It would be a wonderful validation to be picked up by an agent (which I’m plotting my query letters for). I e-published my first book, The Ears That Have Eyes, and had good reviews. The reason for writing a fiction novel is purely selfish. I love it. We all have journeys. One of mine is with a blank piece of paper.