How do I describe this maestro of the written word? He spends a part of every single day writing, contributes material, in dual formats, to professional magazines, heads up a fiction writers group of 10K+ members, squeezes in too many hours each day attending to his videography business, and still manages to enjoy a meal or two every week with people he loves?
A few days ago, I asked Earl if he’d write something for me, and he agreed, so long as he had a day or two to think of an appropriate topic. Here it is. A blog post from my friend and veteran author, Mr. Earl Chessher:
I’m not going to pull a Chuck Wendig on you here … no f-bombs. While that one tends to piss people off, make them smile or overwhelmingly impress or depress them, I’m not sure that what I share here will do any of the four.
Okay, I might upset a few, exonerate others, offer some a sense of validation and inspire nods of the head and finger-pointing by one or two. However you react, the truth is you need to put your writing where your mouth is. Talking about it isn’t going to result in anything if talking is all you do.
Wannabes spend too much time on social site writing groups and forums, offering a bounty of reasons for not getting their work … HA! written or published. You might think you’re honing your writing skills by spending hours moaning, groaning, complaining or seeking sympathy for not getting anything written or published. Wrong.
You’re wasting way too much creative combustion doing this. It isn’t helping you become a better writer or storyteller. Stop making promises to get something written tomorrow, next week or month … at least within the next year. And, I’m going to learn to fly just as soon as I make it to the rooftop of the next tall building. Hey, all I have to do is jump off; the rest is easy, right?
You’re doing a number on yourself, guaranteeing depression and self-doubt. Make and keep one of two promises: I will write something today. Or, I will stop talking about how much I wish I could be a writer.
We talk about it, or we do it. There will always be jobs, or not, sick or demanding husbands, wives, best friends, children, pets. The world appears as if it will go on forever — probably not — there’s always tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow will be a better day and I’ll get some writing done then.
In your dreams.
Speaking of which — writing doesn’t get written in our dreams. I’ve often said we don’t find time for writing, we make time. This is true. I’m not going to argue the validity of your reasons for not getting anything written. I will say that after reading for months on end how a writing forum member simply cannot get something written for this reason or that, I see a trend developing. That person is afraid to write.
You will find the time to do the things you want to do. If writing is something you want to do, then doing so is not impossible.
Here’s what you do:
- Identify something you feel passionate about, visualize or enjoy
- Take the time to jot down some notes about the topic
- Use your “down”, relaxation or nap, time and write instead — rest later
- A sentence, paragraph or page becomes a short story, or more
- Do it daily — writing each day, regardless of word count, becomes a sustainable habit
- Writing each day helps you overcome fear and perceived lack of time
- Use half or more of the time you spend on social sites to write, not talk about it
- Don’t get mad, just write, because if you really want to, you can.