Liars, Snails and Writers– We’ve Got a Thing Going on!

I’m a liar. There I’ve said it.

I bet some of you are too.

Let’s talk about it.

I tell myself lies all the time. Things like, I’ll just hop on the Internet for a quick second and check my email. Who knows, my editor might be trying to contact me in the worse way and I have to know right …this…minute. I mean, you know what editors can be like, expecting things to happen at the snap of their finger…And, and, if I don’t respond to her email immediately something catastrophic could take place. Like I don’t know…like maybe the earth will stop spinning on its axis, maybe the sun will forget to set or maybe, just maybe, the fate of the entire world rests on that “non-existing” email from my ever-so-impatient editor waiting for me in my inbox.

Here  lies another lie. It comes after I’ve written a few hundred words or so.

Got to get up and move around…gotta stretch those legs of mine. Things seize up. After fifty years of living, body parts begin to wear out you know. When I come to a tense part of my story, sometimes I just can’t sit still.

So yes, I’m a published author but that doesn’t mean I can’t come up with any number of excuses NOT to write. Writing takes discipline. No two ways around it. It’s just as difficult for me to find that discipline as it is for anyone else. Published or non-published, we writers all battle the same demons. Yes, I know, I’m published, there should be more of an incentive to keep me going then those of you who are struggling to break through, but my livelihood doesn’t depend on the money I make writing ergo I can procrastinate with the best of them.

Crummy attitude— my livelihood doesn’t depend upon the money I make writing ergo I can procrastinate. I mean really. Considering I’d quit my job in a heartbeat to stay home and write full time, I’d say that is a darn poor attitude.  So while I say one thing, I don’t do a single thing to back it up. It’s not an easy thing. It takes a leap of faith. Yes I would like to make a living writing, yet I continue to work because my job, while it may not be my first choice in life, is at least predictable. I know what my income will be.

The truth is, making a living with writing means you’d have to churn out far more novels a year than what I seem capable of doing. I know some people can. One writer on Facebook is spitting out words like fireworks. Her books are all over the internet and if I had half her energy I might stand a chance. She said she quit her business to write full time. So it’s possible.

Another writer told me it takes three or four published books a year in order for a writer to rake in enough money for the year. When I heard that I knew I wouldn’t be retiring anytime soon.

I’m a snail.

I’m a snail and a liar, and a little unsure of what my true objectives are when it comes to writing. We all assume every writer wants to make a living writing, but maybe that’s just not so. I’m sure some writers are happy just to see their stories in book form, something for them to look back on in their old age and feel they left their mark in the world. Their children and grandchildren will remember them with pride.

Now I wonder what spurs the writer onward– money or leaving behind a small legacy? I suppose that depends upon the writer. We are all individuals. Different goals, different points of view.

But what do I know? Could be I’m far off base. Snails are not known for their intellectual abilities.  😉

If you’re a writer what keeps you writing? Do you expect to one-day make a living writing? If so, do you have any specific plan in place?

5 Reasons For Not Writing That Novel

I hear people all the time express a deep desire to write a book. It happened just the other day. “I always wanted to write,” an older woman said to me. Had I not just met her I might have asked, “Well, what’s stopping you?”

Often when someone learns that I’m an author it brings their own unfulfilled dreams of writing to the foreground. It seems that many people would like to write, they just don’t get around to it. Really, it makes me a little sad to know this. Whenever possible, we should try to pursue the dreams we carry in our hearts. Have you ever stopped to consider there is a reason those dreams are there?

Some dreams are fleeting fancies, as wistful as pink cotton candy — “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice to write a book?” These dreams don’t really count because they really don’t come from the heart. They come from an idea that might have popped into our heads one day as we stood in the bookstore musing over the bestseller’s list thinking it would be super cool to see our name there. I’ve known people who thought they’d be able to whip up a story, no problem, but ended up discouraged after their first few tries.

Other dreams are of the niggling kind, they stick to us like grease, and no matter what they never go away. If we’re lucky we may be able to keep them at bay for a time, by allowing life’s distractions to keep us from taking action, because one of the scariest things in the world to do is to follow our dreams. I mean, what if we fall flat on our faces? Maybe even scarier—What if we succeed?

So here we go…..5 Reasons For Not Writing That Novel

  1. I’ll start writing that novel when the kids are a bit older— A facebook buddy cited this one awhile back. It sounds like a good excuse. It’s up there with “the house won’t be messy as soon as the kids move out.” Hmmm, I believed that illusion for years, but now that the kids have moved that theory’s been shot to pieces. When my kids were small I knew that I had to have something in my life for me, something that defined me in some other way other than a mommy. Not everyone feels this way and I get that. But remember when those kids finally do move out you may end up asking yourself what am I going to do now? If you’re already writing, for whatever time you can allow, you won’t be asking that question. The answer will already be there.

  1. I’ll start writing that novel once I retire…Many people say this, but here’s my theory, if we couldn’t find the time to start writing in the first 65 years of our lives it’s unlikely we’ll find oodles of time once we retire. Retired people are some of the busiest people I know. They just never slow down. They’re off vacationing and camping and having a grand old time.

  1. I’ll start writing that novel when I have the money to take a writing course right now I’m barely making ends meet. Okay, I get the money thing. Years ago when we were first married there was barely enough money to pay the bills let alone dare to dream about spending money on something so frivolous. Here’s the thing… While writing courses are wonderful, not everyone has access to them. Here’s the other thing…You don’t need a writing course to get started. Think of all the great writers out there who wrote their books during a time when writing courses did not exist. It’s not impossible.

  1. I’ll write that novel as soon I broaden my vocabulary because we all know that writers need to know the meaning of every word especially those twelve letter ones. When I first started writing I thought I had to wow everyone with my use of the English language—Wrong. Writing that is simple and easy to understand will resonate with many readers, your storytelling ability is far more important than twelve letter words. Learn to tell a good story.

  1. I’ll start writing that novel as soon as I’ve experienced more of life  so that I will have plenty to write about. Well, guess what? My two-year-old granddaughter is starting to tell bunny stories. They may only be a paragraph long, but she’s only two. Now if a two year old can come up with something, I’m willing to bet you’re selling yourself short if you think you need more life experience. People mistakenly believe that in order to write you have to have travelled and experienced the world, but some of the loveliest stories I’ve ever read were based on very simple themes.

There you have 5 reasons why would-be writers are not out there writing. A few of them worked for me in the past until I finally determined that nothing would stop me. The truth is there will always be things out there that will take up our time, but if you’re really meant to be doing something (and it doesn’t just have to be writing) by letting your dream fizzle away you’re not being true to the person that counts the most.The happiest people I know are the ones who work toward making their dreams come true. Be that person!

What reason do you have for not writing that novel? 

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