Yesterday there was a piece going around Facebook that was a link to the satire site The Onion. The article linked was titled “Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life.” You can read the whole thing here.
It’s funny, and cute, and snarky and a little depressing in the way The Onion can be, but it was also true. And it reminded me of something else I read once, which I’ll butcher horribly here and can’t remember who said it but there’s something in the back of my head that really wants it to be Sherrilyn Kenyon or somebody else awesome like that. And basically this person (and the more I think about it, the more I think it might have been Sherrilyn Kenyon on a podcast, maybe Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing) said “No matter how hard it is for you to write, there’s somebody out there with worse crap than you going on in their life and they’re writing. So quit whining and get to writing.”
And I know I should probably not use quotes there since I’m unabashedly paraphrasing, but it’s my blog post, so get over it. J
And both of those things hit me right where I live, because right now I feel like a fake calling myself a writer. I feel like a huge phony writing here to tell all of you cool people what it takes to be a writer, because I haven’t written a thing in well over two months. I’ve turned out practically nothing this year, and I have all the excuses in the world. I started a new job. I’ve been stressed out over money. My parents have health issues. I’ve been traveling a lot. Whatever.
None of it matters. Sure, some of it does matter. All of those things are true, and they have taken up some of my time. But I could also leave a party early at a convention and get an hour’s worth or writing done. I could get up half an hour earlier in the morning and get a little writing done. I could have foregone the flipping nine thousand hours of West Wing I’ve watched this year on Netflix and gotten some words down.
But I didn’t. It’s been a rough time at Casa Hartness, as we adjust from me being at home to back in a full-time job setting, and it’s taken a toll on my writing. I’m almost back to myself again, which means I should be back to cranking out stories in the next week or so, but it’s important every now and then to realize that not only do we all have every excuse in the book to not write, but we have every reason in the book to write. We write, it’s what we do. And when we don’t, we’re locking away a piece of ourselves.
So take a look at the spoof piece from The Onion. Then turn the intention of it on its head. Don’t let it be a little snarky whine-fest about how you don’t have time to really do anything on your Work in Progress, make it be an anthem that you get to write for twenty minutes every night. Let it inspire you, and write. I’m choosing to use the piece that way, because I have an awesome idea for my next full-length novel, and I need to make time to get cranking on it.
See you in a couple of weeks. Unless you’re in Memphis this weekend, in which case I’ll be at the Hilton for MidSouthCon. Come say hi!
Oh, and I’m totally addicted to two new bands – Delta Rae and Alabama Shakes. Brittany from Alabama Shakes has a voice that sounds like sex and pain and chocolate and thunderstorms. All at the same time.