Sometimes You Need a Kick in the Writing Pants
Podcast Link: Click here.
Podcast Transcript: Hi, genuine writers! This is Innovative Editing’s Jeannette DiLouie welcoming you to episode #33 of The Genuine Writer Podcast. We keep things short, sweet and to the point here so that you can learn what you need to learn and get back to writing already.
I’m just going to warn you right now that today’s episode – which is all about sucking it up and practicing what you preach when it comes to writing – is probably going to be especially short. I’m putting this together on Saturday because I’m headed to the beach on Sunday, my normal recording day. Plus, my car decided to act obnoxiously and mess up my schedule. So there’s that too.
There’s always something to distract us from writing-related tasks, isn’t there?
We’ll get back to that thought in a moment, but first of all, today’s episode is sponsored by Proving America, since that’s what led me to talk about creative kicks in the pants. Contrary to what the front cover might imply, this novel is an awesome adventure into history, featuring a main character who interacts with some of the most insane real-life facts and figures you could ever imagine.
An utterly obnoxious villain who thinks he’s a hero? Check. One of America’s most effective yet likable foes ever? Check. A president who’s an honorable man but an absolute disaster handling diplomatic and wartime activities? Check. The burning of the White House as a result of his and his administration’s incompetence? Believe you me, it’s all included and then some.
This is a must-read story that will leave you engaged, entertained and learning things about your country (whether you’re American or British) that will leave you gaping in disbelief. I’ll include a link for it in the description section for you to check out.
The reason why I bring this all up is because a HACC professor interviewed me about Proving America for his class last week. He wanted to give them a better understanding of why writing matters and how to enjoy it more, so we got to have a great 45-minute discussion on the subject.
During that time, he asked me if I had any motivational tips on how to start writing or keep on writing, at which point I had to confess that I’ve been struggling with that very thing this summer. I can make all the excuses I want, with one of them being very valid. I’ve been crazy busy with work this year: helping people like you write, edit and otherwise strengthen their thoughts out on paper for publishing purposes.
That sounds like more than a mere excuse, right? It sounds like a flat-out reason. Even an unmovable obstacle! And yeah, my work is very important to me – more so than even my novel-writing. As much as I love putting stories together, I like having food to put on my table even more. So it kind-of trumps the fun stuff until my books take off enough to make them more worth my sustainable while.
At the same time, things have slowed down somewhat in the last few months so that I actually do have a bit of breathing room here and there – enough so that I’ve watched reruns of Bones, watched way too many YouTube political commentators, and played far too many games of sudoku.
It wasn’t until the afore-mentioned interview that I truly realized what a hypocrite I was being.
As a book-writing coach, I’m asked often enough about scheduling and how to find time to write. And, in response, I’ve said over and over again that we waste much more time than we think on silly distractions. I’ve also said that we don’t need to block out five hours a day in order to make progress on a novel or nonfiction project. One hour three times a week, two hours every weekend or even five minutes a day can and will add up.
All of that is very true, and I never stopped believing it. I just stopped applying it to my own life, forgetting in my mental exhaustion how exhilarating it can be to bring characters and stories into existence. After the interview though, I went home and I opened up my laptop, not for work purposes but creative purposes. And then I started typing.
I started typing, and I started making progress again.
I’m not going to tell you that I got pages and pages done that night. But I did get several paragraphs put together. And I’m not going to tell you that I was able to work on it the following day, but I did again the next night – a several-times-a-week goal I intend to commit to going forward.
Why? Because my stories are worth writing. I’m not going to tell you that they’re worth reading in their final forms. I truly believe they are, but that’s ultimately up to you to decide.
Regardless, on my end, this is something that I love to do. Plus, it’s something that helps me get my thoughts and feelings out on paper, and inspires me to challenge myself intellectually and technically. There’s no downside to it as far as I can tell, not if I’m still incorporating appropriate time for my family, friends and my body’s need to do things other than stare at a computer screen.
So here’s my question for you: What are your reasons to write? Aren’t they more worthwhile than wasting your hours on game apps and social media? What can you positively change for yourself and/or your community by committing or recommitting to writing? What can you positively protect? What can you inspire?
I know it’s cliché to say, but I don’t care. I’m going to say it anyway: You’ll never know unless you try.
Thanks as always for tuning into The Genuine Writer Podcast. It was great having you here, I hope this made a difference for some of you, and I’ll catch you again next time!