Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Five Reasons Why the Unpublished Can Stop Writing
This is for aspiring authors, the not yet published. Perhaps you are one. Perhaps you know someone to whom you can send this message. They need to hear this.
It's okay to stop writing.
1. A halt to writing is part of the journey. I stopped writing numerous times during the ten years I worked to be published in fiction. Once I even vowed I'd never go back. Sometimes life gets in the way. Children are sick, you're sick, you just got married, you have a new grandbaby--whatever. Or sometimes discouragement arises and saps all creativity from you. It's not the end of the world if you put your writing aside for awhile. Doesn't mean you're not a writer.
2. Taking time off is the luxury of an author not yet contracted. For you unpublished folks when life gets in the way you're able to take time off. Embrace that. Realize that once you're contracted you have no choice but to write. That sickness, the new marriage, the new grandbaby, that complete lack of creativity--sorry, no excuse. The deadline will loom.
3. The brain continues to "cook" even when you're not writing. Are you reading? Living life? Studying the craft here and there? All these things work in your subconscious to improve your craft. When you do return to writing you're likely to discover new insights, better use of technique.
4. Pushing aside your writing is no cause to beat yourself over the head. We authors are our own worst enemies. We beat ourselves up over everything and nothing. If we're writing, it's terrible. If we're not writing, we're fakes. STOP IT.
5. The real writers always return to writing. If indeed those filled pages were just a passing fancy, maybe you'll never get back to writing. But if you're driven, if you have to write--which is what it takes to become published--you will return to the craft. Just like I did after I swore I'd never write again. If you're meant to write, one day your brain will start popping with ideas, your fingers will itch for the keys. You'll dream plotlines, think up characters. Even hear their voices in your head. This may happen after a week, a month, a year or more. But if you're meant to write it will happen.
Has life and disappointment caused you to shove your writing aside? Enjoy your time off. It's all part of your journey.
Winner of this month's Photo Friday is Wendy Hamilton, with this caption: With the new healthcare plans in place, area hospitals replaced their "H" signs with one more fitting the level of care patients could expect.
Congrats, Wendy. Please e-mail me with your choice of one of my novels.