Author’s Note: Another first Wednesday of the month, another post for The Insecure
Writer’s Support Group. Be sure to check out the many other writers participating in this blog hop. Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for leading the IWSG.
What’s up? You writing? You better be.
Okay, maybe I’m coming on a bit harsh, but in the way that I’m possibly addressing the insecure writer in all of right now who’s struggling with a work in progress or wondering whether they’ve got what it takes to do this writing thing, whom I’m really addressing is me. Because the holidays are over. The gifts have been opened. Time spent with loved ones has been enjoyed. Meals and drink savored. Now it’s time to get off my ass and do some goddamned writing.
Maybe for some of you, December’s a good time to write. Not for me, and not this past December. I was essentially running a household solo for nearly a month due to my wife recovering from knee surgery. As much as I wanted to write, I felt I really couldn’t devote neither the time nor the energy needed to write, not even gibberish. The odd blog post, yes, but not even 500 words.
January is here, and with January comes the promise of the New Year and the frenzy of resolutions to be made and kept. And likely broken. I dislike resolutions. I dislike planning. But I have resolved to make specific plans with regards to my personal life, my professional life, and my writing life, and not just make those plans, but keep them. It’s not enough to make those plans; I need to make plans that are realistic. I can’t possibly write 5 novels in one year, but I will damn well finish the novel I started 60 days ago.
Ah, yes, my work-in-progress…for once, it’s something that’s not making me gnash my teeth, pull what’s left of my hair, question my sanity (actually, I don’t need to write in order to question my sanity), and ponder if I’m making yet another mistake. I heard something the other day during a podcast, an interview with Anthony Bourdain, talking about his writing process for his first book, Kitchen Confidential:
“I wrote as if no one was going to read this, which was very liberating for me, for someone who’d never written before, and who could probably count on eight guys who worked in a kitchen to read what I finished.”
Exactly. I’m taking that exact approach, to write as if no one’s going to read it. Sounds crazy (and I know crazy), but what it means is you’re writing the book you want to read, not what conventional wisdom dictates you should write in order to sell. Damn those conventions, I say.
And with those conventions comes the hinderance of time. The demands of my job, my home life with my wife and child, those responsibilities come first, but my ambitions will be met. So I will meet them, one hour each day, more if possible. With that hour, I’m giving myself permission to write as many words as possible – this week, 500 words one day, more than 700 the next – or as little. I wrote a few weeks back that if I’m going to finish what I started, back when NaNoWriMo ’13 kicked off, I’m going to finish it on my own clock, in my own terms. One word at a time.
So it’s back to writing for me.
And it’s back to writing for you as well.