Friday, February 8, 2008

The Toughest Part…

There are two steps that one needs to accomplish to become a writer.

The first step is actually calling yourself a writer (out loud, and said to a real person—no imaginary friend counts), and as I discussed in my previous post, this is fraught with fear and trembling.

But once you get this painful right of passage out of the way, you can begin the second step. And this one is even harder because it’s a step that never ends: namely, you have to write.

Yes, I’m sorry to say that to be a writer, you have to write! And you have to do it pretty much every day. That’s what separates writers from idea-jotter-downers.

Now, in this post I’m not going to talk about the quality of what is written, and whether or not this could be labeled as “crap” (which, incidentally, most of it could probably be the poster child for crap). No, I’m just going to focus on what stops us from actually making our writer-butts sit down and come up with something intelligible. Not good, mind you, just real words on a page.

Really, there are tens of thousands of reasons not to write. But for the sake of brevity, and because all of those reasons can be boiled down to two things, I’m just going to list those two.

So, without further ado (to use a trite phrase that all good writers should avoid), here they are:

1. We don’t want to. I mean, we do, but we don’t. It’s the whole failure thing. What if what we write stinks more than a dumpster of dirty diapers? (Some of it will.) What if what we write has already been written and we’re not original? (Some of it has been, and we never are.) What if people laugh at us? (Someone is lined up for that job, don’t you worry.) What if…blah, blah, blah!

2. We’re too busy. We just have too much going on, right? I mean, someone has to organize the pots and pans in alphabetical order by brand name, dust the collection of thimbles given to us by our grandma, and search for that episode of that show we watched that one time that we think we liked! Those things don’t happen by themselves, do they? Of course not!

Well, there you have it. Yep, that’s it. And if you’re an astute reader, you will see the connection between one and two (for the less perceptive, here’s a hint: fear leads to procrastination).

Now, what are we going to do about it? I have few ideas, but I’ll save them for another post.


Amanda said...

I'm excited to read your Monday poem!
I hope you are having a great weekend!

Amanda said...

It's Monday!!