I might’ve mentioned a time or two that I’m a member of several online writer’s groups as well as two real life ones. At least once a week someone posts a typical email or status that goes a little something like this:
Omg, you guys! I was so excited about XYZ writing project. I’ve been writing on it for the past week or so but now I’ve lost interest in it so I started another. Then I looked at all my files and I realized that I have eleventy million unfinished projects. Am I the only one who does this? I just want to finish something!!!
The comments that follow are people who usually fall in the same category. People who make this person feel ok with finishing none of their stories. And then I, typical asshole that I am, just drop in with two words:
Usually there is a barrage of excuses.
“It’s not that easy.”
“I have a day job that sucks the soul out of me.”
“I have a husband/kids/family or significant other.”
“I’m just so tired at the end of the day that I have nothing left for my writing.”
And my usual response to that is, “Me too. So what? Finish it.”
We are all tired. Most of us have a husband/kids/family or significant other. Most of us are barely making a living or able to buy a nice dinner with the profits from our writing so we all have soul sucking day jobs. And no, it ain’t that easy. If it was, everyone would do it. You can call yourself a writer because writers write. You’ve got that part down. But the hard and simple fact is that you’re not ready to be an author because authors finish their shit.
I agree. Writing ain’t easy.
That day job you hate, if you really want that paycheck or to hold on to that position you show up every day, right? Writing is no different. You have to show up in some way EVERY DAY. Some days are really good. A month or so ago I was clocking in 6k words a day. Today I wrote 480. Yes, that is a significant decrease but I showed the fuck up. I set some pretty big goals for myself this year and I plan to accomplish all of them and that means toughing out the shitty days. It means that I have to recognize when I’m avoiding the work and call myself out on it. I give myself a pep talk and suck it up because it’s a whole lot easier to revise a shitty day of writing then to play catch up on the backend because I slacked off.
Trust me. I learned this the hard way.
So if you want to be an author some day, it’s good to remember that we all have the same number of hours in a day as Tiffany Reisz (Gah! That lil’ woman is prolific wit dem words!). Check your excuses at the door, sit down and do the work.
I say this with love.
Finish yo shit.
Tasha L. Harrison, Author.