I don’t believe there is any struggle in life that can be more rewarding than writing besides childbirth or parenting. Anyone who is a writer knows this.
But I must confess I feel like a fraud when I call myself a writer because a writer doesn’t go weeks, or for that matter, months without writing.
So I have some encouraging words that I have learned recently.
Once upon a time, I stopped writing. We’ll call it writer’s block to save some face. I was frustrated because when the time would come once a month for my writer’s meeting, I had nothing new to submit. I would submit something a second time and claim that I wanted further work done to it, or I’d submit something I had written years ago.
Anyone who is involved with an author’s social media outlet will see quotes from them saying “Just write” and a thousand variations of it. But I would just say to myself, “It will come in time, just let my mind work itself out and when it’s ready it’s ready.”
But I was telling myself a lie. There is a time to let things cook in the mind before spilling it on paper, but I was abusing this. I was letting my mind grow lazy by not exercising it. So if anyone is in the same boat, believe me when I say KEEP WRITING. There’s a reason that when you Google “writing” this picture shows up-
Or my favorite –
There’s a reason.
If you are working on a novel and have no inspiration, write a poem. Write a poem about anything. Write about the struggle. Write about your childhood. Write about the first time you remember feeling angry, felt love, felt happiness. Write about the first time you experienced tears of joy. My first time was when I saw my brother graduate from basic training. Even though we had barely been brothers all our lives, seeing him go away into the army and actually losing a brother for a few months… Seeing him again made me feel like I had something I never had before. I’ll never forget it.
If you’re working on a short story and find it’s putting up a fight, don’t let the wall you just ran into stop you. Take a step to the side and walk around it. Pick a scene from a movie you love and write about it and make it your own. Picture the park bench scene in Good Will Hunting and rewrite it.
In the end, you either have a product you can say “This came from my hardest of efforts and look at what I made.” Hold it in your hand and be proud. Or you can say, “I tried to write, but it didn’t work.”
No. It didn’t work, you gave up, just as I have done too many times. I’m finished with my own complacency, my novel-in-progress is now actually IN PROGRESS. Let’s write people, we’re all one big group of people sharing the struggle.
I’ll close with a picture that makes me laugh and inspires me from my favorite writer, Patrick Rothfuss.
Thanks for reading – Zac Zinn.