June 8, 2009

Sink or Swim

Writing is hard work. HARD work. There has to be a commitment made to stick your booty in the chair, no matter what. Tv show you wanted to watch? Too bad, TiVo the sucker. A friend calling to chat during your writing time? Invest in caller ID. Your spouse rants and raves about the time you spend in front of the computer? Either tell the man to take a hike or figure out a way to make the situation work.

Life isn't easy and neither is writing. Yeah, you can quote me. Some of the best things in life are the ones we have to strive for. To be a writer, you have be hungry to succeed because there will always be road blocks in the way. Kids, husbands, laundry, General Hospital, friends, cows (don't ask)and the occasional midnight nookie patrol. Life happens. Sh-- happens. Pick yourself up and get back in that chair.

Do or die. Sink or Swim.

I'm new to the big kid's pool, but I've seen enough to know when I spot dead weight. Or rather someone who doesn't have the survivalist mentality to be a writer. They whine, moan, complain and generally, try to suck you down into their vortex of self-pity.


If you're the one putting the time and effort into learning craft, developing your voice and spending every spare minute pounding at the keyboard like Mozart, why would you break your flow to swim with the sinkers who want to mire themselves in writer angst?

I sure don't have the time to hear whining. I've got two toddlers and a husband. My whining quota is full, thank you very much.

Do I sound harsh? Snobby? Well, too bad. I WANT to be a writer. I WANT to be published. I DON"T need to babysit someone who doesn't have the drive to leave the kiddie pool in the first place. The most I'm willing to do offer the same advice given to me. . . SIT YOUR A** IN THE CHAIR AND WRITE!

The tricky thing about progress is- well, dang it, you have to move forward! Ask the right questions, research your work and for heaven's sake, move on. There is angst enough in finding the right word and creating vivid characters. Why give yourself more than needed?

What to do when faced with an energy sucking complainer? Tell them the truth. Tell them to suck it up and write. Tell them to dive into the deep end. Whatever cheesy cliche you can manage. Don't be their enabler. Let someone else fill that role. For yourself and your future success, keep moving forward. Be protective of your writing time because the "posers" are out there, waiting for the easy fix, ie- feed off your hard work.

I'm not saying anyone who isn't as driven as me is a poser, but what I am saying is a true writer isn't stagnent! Practice = Progress. The ones who truly want to learn will step up and they're the ones you want swimming beside you. Don't worry about trying to spot the dead weight in your amidst. They're easy to find. How? Well, they've perfected the art of not listening. Just look for that 'tell' and you'll do fine.


At June 8, 2009 at 8:58 AM , Blogger F. M. Meredith, author said...

Great post. Telling it like it is always works.

At June 8, 2009 at 9:46 AM , Blogger Sunny Frazier said...

Whew! Someone ate their Wheaties this morning.

I held myself and my career back, waiting for my peeps to keep pace. It took much longer for me to realize that some are only talking the talk. Walking out alone as an author is scary. Good thing I had a positive influence like Marilyn to keep me on the path.

My radar is better at picking out serious contenders. That's what I choose to surround myself with. The rest are not worth the effort it takes to teach. I'll give 100% to a serious writer, but not 1% to a wannabe.

At June 8, 2009 at 7:13 PM , Blogger Dorinda Ohnstad said...

I'm sitting my butt in my chair and pecking away at it. Not sinking, not swimming, maybe I'm at the floating stage and thinking about picking up speed to keep up with you.


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