Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sit Down and Write!
"A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people." Thomas Mann
After one whole week of blogging, I find myself creating a blogging persona. This isn’t particularly shocking if you’re a writer; it’s what writing is all about, especially fiction: creating characters.
I also realized that I’m straying a bit from what I said I was creating a blog for in the first place. I wanted to talk about the writing life, and instead I’m just being silly and creative. That’s fine, but I find I’m doing the same thing with my blog that I do with my writing, which is find ways to avoid writing (or blogging about writing).
Of course, this is a trait common to lots of people involved in art. I find lots of excuses to NOT write, like cleaning the house, or going out with friends, or I’ve had a bad day, or I’m not in the mood. There are no tricks for becoming a published writer. But I do know a sure-fired way NOT get published: by NOT writing. I’m pretty good at that. Successful writers all have one thing in common: they never stopped writing. Writing is difficult, especially writing fiction. Anyone I’ve ever met who says writing is fun or easy doesn’t write very good stuff.
This makes the physical act of sitting down to write a struggle. Usually, once I start to write, I like it. And the more I write, the easier it becomes to sit down. But starting a new story, a new book, a new chapter, sometimes even a new day, I feel like I’m gingerly stepping to the end of a high-dive. Do I chicken out and climb back down, or do I stand there, with my arms wrapped around me, shivering? Or do I simply jump off?
Of course, all of this belly-aching (and I’ve got journals full of this stuff) doesn’t change the fact that each day, I simply must sit down and write. And when I think of it that way, it’s rather simple, only four words: sit down and write.