A Writer’s Pledge

Writers write.

penWhat is a writer to do?  You are interested in writing. You have a great idea you believe would make for a great book, but you are not sure if you can pull it off.  You read a 1,001 articles that offer advice for beginning writers and each one sounds good. Then you realize that a lot of these articles contradict one another. This only adds to your confusion.  Should you follow the advice from help book #1.  But then help book #2 suggests that you do it another way. Everyone has some type of advice on how you should write, how your shouldn’t write, and that great idea you had beaming in your head is just that, an idea.

S-T-O-P.

Forget any advice anyone gives you on how you should write. Just write. The first step in writing is to write. You may ask yourself, “Is my story good enough?” Maybe.  Maybe not. But you won’t know if you barricade yourself behind a wall from the very beginning.  Write.

When I was growing up, I wrote a ton of short stories, songs and poems. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Yet, I didn’t share anything I wrote with anyone because I was afraid of negative feedback. I sheltered this part of myself for fear that this passion I had for the written word was not good enough. So, it remained my secret for a long time. Something happened as I got older, though. I wanted to see what other people thought of my writing.  I was curious to know what other peoples thought  Did I have what it took to be a good writer?

As It turns out, my short stories were not very good. I heard the first few critiques and I wanted to bury my head deep in the sand and give up. But, I still had this passion for writing.  I took some advice, well, actually, I read every writing advice book I could and thought I could turn out something better. I got so consumed with obtaining knowledge, I spent more time reading people’s advise on writing that I hadn’t written anything. I would always put it off. Tomorrow I will write became the trend. I realized that it was a defensive barrier I had put around myself.  No one could tell me that my writing wasn’t good if there was no writing to critique. I let fear imprison me. Instead of working to improve my own writing abilities, which I knew I possessed, or at least hoped I did, I chose to hide.

That’s when I made a pledge to myself.  A Writer’s Pledge.

I write. It is my passion. My desire. I am my biggest fan. I am my biggest critic.

The point is, we can’t worry about how good or how bad something is without first trying.  Not everyone will write a best seller. But if you love writing and it gives you joy beyond anything else you can imagine, you owe it to yourself to follow your passion no matter where it leads you. Make your own Writer’s Pledge. You will hear people say to write for the readers you hope to have. Find a genre and write toward that. There is a lot of good advice out there but first, you need to just write. Once you begin that process, you will learn something about yourself and something about your writing.  Advice is good, don’t get me wrong, but not at the expense of your creative process.

Pick up a pen. Let your fingers stretch across the keyboard. Dust off the typewriter.

The time is write now.

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The Write Touch

Today is writer’s day. Well, not officially. There is no special designation to honor a writer’s passion, diligence, creativity, or contribution to the literary world. No day to mark on the calendar to celebrate all those who have cried, cursed, laughed, shouted, or smiled through the process of creating words which invoked emotional responses in people who found those words.

For a writer, both aspiring and established, each day should be viewed as Writer’s Day. Anytime you sit down at your desk or other writing sanctuary and begin  the process of creativity, you should feel enlightened by the fact that you have an idea you want to explore, words in your head that will inform, entertain, or hit an emotional nerve with an unsuspected reader. Writing is not easy. It takes a lot of patience, practice, doubt, more doubt, and persistence to accomplish what you want to set out to do.

When your fingers are gliding across the keyboard, imagine you are playing a grand piano and listening to the beautiful music created at your fingertips. Now imagine your story singing by your touch. The community of writers is vast and diversified but we all share a common and unique kinship.  We have all started with a clean slate. We have all sat and watched an empty screen fill up with words as our mind and fingers worked together to help bring to life our thoughts.

antique-writing-deskPeople say that writing is a solitary life. You and your thoughts. While I do find that to be true when I am in the midst of the writing process, I also feel connected to others who share my interest for writing. I love to learn from others who have reached success whether small or large and from people like myself, who are still trying to figure it out. I like to hear their ideas, their struggles, their successes, because it makes me feel that I am not alone. In those moments of self-doubt or bitter frustration when the words are not coming out the way I want, I know there are others who have endured those same struggles and found ways to overcome those same obstacles. This gives me hope and I feel a connection with them. Writing can be the most frustrating thing you could ever do, but it could also be the most rewarding.

Let today be Writer’s Day.  The next bestseller is only words away.