BIC — the Magical Words


I am often asked by unpublished writers (referred to by some as wannabees, unpubs, prepubs, etc.) “What is the one thing that takes a writer from the stage of wanting to be published, to the stage of *being* published?  What is that magic one thing?”  And I think I’ve been seeing a trend here on that leads me to an answer.  Besides and including, BIC, of course.  Butt in Chair is the most important part of crossing the “what makes a writer” void.  But in addition, there is this one other thing.

Catie has been lamenting it, here and on other blogs.  David and Misty and I have commiserated with her on it.  We’ve all been there.  We’ve all gone through it, and know full well that we will go through it again, on the next book.  That one single thing is tenacity.  That bulldog, got-my-teeth-in-it-and-won’t-let-go, stubborn, immoveable, obdurate determination to push on through to the end.  It is the same mind-set that long distance runners have, the one that forces to them push through the *wall* when they hit it, when every muscle, bone, breath and heartbeat is an agony.  Why do they push on?  Because they know they can.  They *know* it with every painful breath.  And they run.  And they reach the finish line.  It’s the same resolve that mountain climbers have to reach the summit, despite the snow, the howling winds, the frostbite, the pain, the shattered teeth.  They climb the mountain because it is there and because they can.

Please understand that I’m not saying such pig-headed tenacity is necessarily healthy or smart.  According to my hubby it’s stupidity.  Because of it, I went through 10 years of adrenal insufficiency, am trying to rebuild my decreased upper body strength, have reflux, an unhappy GI tract, and writer’s butt.  (Not that any wannabee wouldn’t happily share in all that to be published.  I’m just sayin’…)

That determination is what takes a writer from unpublished to published.  That determination and fortitude.  If you don’t find, develop, have, possess or create inside your own heart and spirit that tenacity to push on through the hard parts of a novel, you will never be a writer.  You will skitter on to the next project, then the one after that and never actually finish a novel.

So.  BIC.  It all comes back to BIC.  A stubborn, ferocious, vital BIC.

Faith.  Currently BIC. 


5 comments to BIC — the Magical Words

  • Beacuse I can. Cocky and yet very true. I really, really thought that considering yourself as talented and having that knowledge made you somewhat arrogant anbd well the word “because I can” state everything simple and clear without any hint of superiority. It’s about what you know about yourselfa nd teh determination to push through and see how far you can evolve with it. Great post.

  • It never fails to surprise me how attractive laundry and dishes become when I know I MUST keep the butt in chair and hands on keyboard. *grin*

  • Having spent all of yesterday and today avoiding BiC (mostly today; yesterday I was still sick), this post is partly what I needed.

    The other part of what I need is probably to go look at the book and see what’s wrong that I don’t want to be writing. *sigh* Damn. I love this job, but sometimes I hate it. : p


  • I’m at the beginning of the book, when I am most resistant to putting my butt in the chair. And, yes, I’m fighting through it. Soon, of course, I’ll be in the middle of the book, when I’ll hit that wall that Faith mentioned, the one Catie wrote about a week or so ago. At that point I’ll want to do ANYTHING other than write. But I’ll get through it. I always have in the past. And then I’ll be at the ending, when I’ll be asking myself “Why can’t this thing be done already?” But I’ll struggle through that, too.

    It’s a struggle. Always. Sometimes it’s a glorious struggle. Sometimes it just plain sucks. But it’s always a fight. And for some reason, as soon as I finish one struggle, I start plotting out the next one. As Faith says, some people climb mountains. Some people run marathons. We write books.

  • Yeah…
    Too bad my chozen form of lion-taming, mountain-climbing, race-running makes my butt big.

    It *feels* like exercise. Honest!