I’ve had a rough month.
First, there was the surgery two weeks before school started. Then school registration, the first week, then I have been on deadline for copy for Spirit Magazine. Finally I got an email from the high muckity-mucks back east that the presentation I am doing Oct. 12 had to have all its handouts turned in by last Friday. So sweat time, in a lot of different ways.
I have a friend, Randy Maxwell, who used to co-edit a magazine with me called ParentTalk. He’s a published author and so am I. He’s also often a slacker, as am I. He made the too-true comment about writing: “You know, if you’re going to write, you’ll find a way to do it, regardless.” And that’s the truth. If I am on deadline, I find time to write. I don’t wait for the Muse to strike (if I did that, I never would have written anything). I just apply seat of pants to seat of chair and do it.
When I graduated from college, I went through a period of unemployment when I told my wife, “This is a great opportunity to start my freelance writing career!” And then promptly stared at a blank page, followed by a long and lingering depression. You have to have an idea first. I learned that the hard way.
But once you know what it is you want/need/have to say, comes step 2. Do it. Do it. DO IT!!!
So why do I bring this up? Because I, just like everyone else, fall back on excuses. The one thing I KNOW will motivate me to write is a hard and fast deadline. If I agree to an article assignment, chances are I am already too busy. But I know that my word is worth something. If not to them, at least to me.
And that’s where National Novel Writing Month comes in. If I agree to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, then I will do it. I discovered that last year, and plan on doing it again this year. I need accountability. Actually, I need a completed manuscript, but accountability gets me there.
The bottom line is: Do whatever you have to to get to the finish line.