Aug 6, 2009

How bad do you want it?

Is your novel the first thing you think about every morning and the last thing on your mind as you turn out the light? Are you prepared to do whatever it takes? Do you eat, sleep, and breathe, your novel? Do you make excuses why you can’t write, or find solutions to any obstacle thrown in your way? And, do you have faith – faith in yourself, and in your writing?

Writing in the morning:
On rising, we are firing on all cylinders, so to speak. After a good nights sleep we are refreshed and our creative juices are more lightly to flow with ease. Personally, I begin around five each morning with a mug of tea, my pencil, and my gratitude journal. Apart from being a great way to start the day, I have found it clears my mind to focus on my blessings first. It also gets me straight into the flow of writing. Then I tap away while the world around me sleeps – content in the knowledge that I am not lightly to be disturbed for a few hours. I can handle Emails during the hustle and bustle of the day. I read at night and my last thought as I turn out the light is always my writing. There are those who don’t believe that the subconscious mind is actively working on our last waking thoughts as we sleep, but, just in case it is, I’m all for stacking the odds in my favour. My attitude is; if standing on my head and wiggling my ears will hep, then, (decrepit spine or not) stand well back lads while I give it a go.

Whatever it takes:
At the end of the day, if you really want to be a novelist you have to be prepared to do what ever it takes. It's pointless thinking, you will do X and Y but not Z. I realized a long time ago that I only needed to do ONE thing to succeed, which is – what ever it takes! You can find endless excuses why you can’t get your novel finished, or you can find a way around every obstacle you encounter. And let’s be real here – life gets in the way. Maybe not every day, but it certainly can throw crap in the mix that can complicate the scenario for you, and that’s when you have to get creative and find solutions. That’s when you have to be focused. That’s when you will discover if you really have a passion for writing.
However, once you have decided to do whatever it takes, it can actually eliminate problems.

How does that happen?

If you have decided to do whatever it takes, then no matter what situation you encounter, you know you have to work your way around it and continue writing.
For example – at present I can’t sit, or at least not without horrendous pain that is. Apart from other spinal complications, I have a fractured tailbone (coccyx) and two slipped discs. The medication needed for me to sit with comfort left me like a zombie and incapable of thinking or speaking clearly, let alone writing. Thankfully, I am reasonably OK both lying and on my feet, I just can’t sit. Not writing was not an option, therefore I focused on finding a solution. Thus, necessity became the mother of invention.

I am writing this on the flat of my back on the sitting room floor – knees bent – laptop on a raiser and a cushion. Two screws stopped the laptop from sliding. Why not my bed you ask. Lying in bed is bad for me mentally. I am not sick. My chassis is injured and incapable of supporting me at the minute, that's all. It's all about attitude.
This way I am up, washed, dressed and moving around. I just lie on the floor to write. Most people sit: I lie on the floor. You do whatever you have to. To send emails during the day, I kneel on a cushion and pop the laptop on the sofa, or stand at the counter-top. When you decide to do what ever it takes, you always find solutions.

Faith in your writing:
Belief comes with practice, practise, and more practice. Learn the art, hone your skills, and associate with other writers at workshops and writing groups. Accept that you will make mistakes. Everyone does. We all have good days and bad days. I highly recommend you read Stephen King’s, ‘On Writing’ (fabulous book) and you will realize it’s one word at a time, for everyone.

In a nutshell – focus on the positive, delete negative, eliminate excuses, practise, practise, practise, write every day, have a little faith in yourself and your writing, and decide to do whatever it takes.

Whatever you do, don't wait for everything to be right, to write!

May your pen always be sharp.

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