Thurs. Nov. 12, 2015: Why, Yes, Writers DO Write

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Waxing Moon
Rainy and cool

The Energy Vampires are out. This always happens during Nano — those who like the idea of writing better than the actual writing. They love to talk about it, to pontificate about how one should or shouldn’t write, but they don’t actually get any words on paper. They’re always around, but during Nano, when hundreds of thousands of people are attempting to write in company — they can really feed.

I have very little to do on the forums this year because there are so many energy vampires. Hey, we all run into obstacles. I’m happy to help however I can. However, if you’re not going to show up to the page and do the work, there’s nothing I can do for you. Not only that, I’m not willing to spend time placating you when I could be putting that time and energy into my own writing. You want support? Earn it.

There’s also an article being passed around Facebook about what writers — I’m not sure if it’s “should” or “need” to stop saying, with the top one being “Writers write.” Well, of course “writers write” you dumbass, or nothing would ever GET WRITTEN. It’s another one of those pseudo-self-help pieces meant to placate wanna-bes, giving them a list of excuses for not writing.

In truth, there are no excuses. You choose to write. You choose not to write. If you choose not to write on enough successive days, weeks, months, years, you’re not a writer. I’m not an astronaut because I’d like to fly to the moon. I haven’t earned the right to call myself an astronaut. I don’t DO it. Writing is one of the few professions where wanna-bes can sit around with their thumbs up their asses making excuses for not doing it and still identify themselves as a member of the profession. Um, no.

I USED to work on Broadway. As a dresser. I no longer do that. Therefore, I am no longer a dresser. I WAS a dresser, I had a great career. But I am no longer a member of that profession.

Speaking of Broadway, that’s another one — people hear I worked on Broadway and say, “Oh, I want to work on Broadway one day.”

Actually, you don’t. If you did, if you even had any clue as to how much work it takes, you’d run screaming. Because if you REALLY WANTED it, you’d spend every free minute working in theatre. You would only accept part-time jobs with flexible hours that allow you to remain in theatre. You’d get enough regional credits under your belt and hone your craft so you could move to New York, start off-off Broadway, work your way up to off-Broadway, and maybe, just maybe, if you worked hard enough AND were good enough, you’d make it to Broadway.

You’re not willing to do that? You’re not willing to work nights, weekends, holidays, give up family events? You only want to work when it’s convenient? It won’t happen.

Same with writing. You need art. You need craft. You need work ethic. You need commitment.

I take tango lessons. I go to practicas and millings when I can. Tango is something I enjoy. It is a hobby. I am not a tango dancer. I dance when I can, and I’m learning — but I’m not a tango dancer. If and when I give up other things and commit to tango to the exclusion of other things and get my skills up to par, I will have the right to call myself a tango dancer. Right now, I don’t. It’s something I do on occasion, because I enjoy it. It’s not something I am.

We are more than our professions, of course. One hopes each of us is a unique, complex individual. But if we’re going to identify with a particular art or craft, we have to earn our way into it.

The ironic thing is that these articles to make wanna-be writers feel better about not writing is that SOMEONE WROTE THEM. If that someone is smart, that someone got paid. Right there it negates that we need to stop saying “writers write.” Obviously they do, or there wouldn’t be anything to read, not even a cereal box. Some of these writers even get paid for it. Some of these writers even participate in an entire, money-making industry to KEEP YOU FROM WRITING. They provide you lists of excuses and soothe you when you don’t wanna.

Can you think of any profession where you’d succeed if you only showed up and worked when you felt like it or it was convenient?

Show up and earn your way in, no matter what “it” is.

It’s also ridiculous that writers who write should even need to defend the fact that they participate in their profession, like professionals, to those who don’t.

Honestly, I can’t really remember last weekend. It seems very far away. I know I wrote a lot on Saturday and ran some errands. Sunday, I was up ridiculously early to pick up ornaments for the NMLC tree and finish putting the hardware on the gold starfish. I wrote a little, but not as much as I wanted to. Baked a lot.

I read a lot. Some of it was disappointing, mysteries where the protagonist is an idiot (not “goofily endearing”, but an idiot), and I kept hoping she’d be the next victim. Other pieces were very good.

Renee Rosen’s WHITE COLLAR GIRL is good. It takes place in Chicago in the 1950s. My parents lived there at that time — I had my mom read it, too, and she remembered some of the events in the book.

Board meeting early at NMLC, and then off to Plymouth to meet a friend from theatre days in New York who I haven’t seen since I left. It was great to catch up with her and maintain the friendship.

I’d gotten up at 4:30 that morning, to make sure I got some writing in.

Up early on Tuesday. Wrote on the classic project. Then went to the library for the Come Write In, but I was the only one there. Did about 1K on the rebel project, came home, and went to Spectacle of Trees meeting.

Came home and did some research.

Two more characters are yapping at me. Their story is interesting, so I might do a rough outline and see how I can fit it in.

I created a rough outline of deadlines, putting on paper what’s due when and what stage I need to be on various projects when. It’s realistic, but slower than I’d like. But that’s life. At least Nano’s gotten me into a better daily writing rhythm, although I still feel like I’m pushing too hard.

Woke up sick on Wednesday. Was going to take the entire day off writing, but by the afternoon, it hurt more not to write than to write, so I wrote, a whole chapter, just over 3K. On the classic.

I didn’t go to the Write In session, because I don’t want anyone to get sick.

I’m better this morning. I wrote just over 1200 words on the Classic this morning. Ideas are spinning in my head for the rebel, so I will try to do some tonight at home.

Will have a long day at work both today and tomorrow, and a busy weekend.

Two weeks from today is Thanksgiving. I can’t believe it!

Enjoy,

Devon

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Published in: on November 12, 2015 at 10:13 am  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. Excellent perspective on the difference from those who do and those who say they do!


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