Sunday, February 17, 2013
I have a friend who is a “writer.” I met her at a writing conference a few months ago. Yet to my knowledge she doesn’t write much, if ever. I, of course, am on the other side of the spectrum, busily trying to work on my novel without getting weird looks every day at lunch (when you write a dystopia about paralyzing people, it’s harder than you’d think).
Writing, in and of itself, is not hard. As I’ve found out, writing only takes the ability to have an idea, and the thoughts to write it down. I’m not saying it’s good writing; I’ve written so much slush in the past year that I’m not proud of. It has helped me get better, though. Getting started is all it takes.
Getting started to write is like getting ready to exercise. You put on clothes that you don’t think make you look too awful, you take a moment to remember all of the other things you could be doing, and then you begin. For a while, it’s hard. I, for example, hate treadmills, and so after a while I always get bored and go do something else. Still, that little amount of activity helped me improve.
Some days, my writing goes at a snail’s pace. Some days, I’m totally in the zone and my story amazes me because I think it’s such a cool idea. Anyway, 100 for 100, as well as my personal pact to myself, have helped me realize that it doesn’t matter how awful and awkward and clunky it is right now. My writing could be complete garbage (and to be fair, some of it is). But as my dad says, what matters is that I’m “out there, doing stuff.” As Hemingway supposedly said, “It is easy to write. Just sit in front of your typewriter and bleed.”