MAKIN' TIME

The Write Stuff

You are not the person you were yesterday. Tomorrow that difference and growth will continue. That’s why you must write. From mind to paper there has to be an articulation beyond the electrical impulses which continuously flit the brain. With pen and paper, you have a chance to bring order to that development, that creativity, that intelligence that comes with a human being. To neglect that ordering process is to give reign to worry, anxiety, stress; each and every one an electrical impulse which is out of control. For goodness sake, write. Or risk simply Mondays as a human doing. — Nicholas Bate

Bringing order to my brain is one reason I write. To express myself creatively is another. I do see when I don’t write, I have an increase in my anxiety and stress. I should write more. You, dear reader, should too.

There is a story I once read, clearly apocryphal, about how Ian Fleming wrote his James Bond novels. He would lock himself in a room with nothing but paper and his Royal Quiet de Luxe typewriter and not permit himself a way out until 2,000 words were achieved. Just doing the most cursory of research finds his habit was much more pedestrian: writing three hours in the morning and an hour in the evening.

Still, he had a distinct habit. He had an ordered process.

For me, I’ve got to write. Although, sometimes, more often than not, I just don’t want to sit in the chair and bang on the keys. Additionally, thinking about writing (which I do all the time) means jackshit. I think I’d like to play guitar, but I don’t pick it up and put the time in. So, if I don’t put the time and effort in unsurprisingly it doesn’t get done.

It’s simple―wanting to write means finding the time to write.

I wanted to be a writer since the third grade when my “The Bionic Spider versus the Bionic Fly” story pleased my teacher so much she told my parents. At some point, with little fanfare, I decided I was, in fact, a writer.

Cory Doctorow says all you really have to do is write 250 words a day, every day. This piece I’m writing is already at 331 words. Just writing 250 words a day, every day means in a year you likely have the first draft of a novel. Write more than 250 a day and it will be finished all the sooner.

There is no excuse. I need to write more. I bet you do too.

I have a bad habit of starting projects and never finishing. As always, I have more ideas than I can execute. I jump around with this fleeting thought and that cool idea. Inevitably, the enthusiasm falls away. Momentum shifts and maybe I get to the end.

Sometimes, but not often, I stare at the screen and have not a word to write. The blinking cursor mocks me. When that happens, I usually just walk away and try again later.

One of the things I do is write just for me and if there’s an audience all the better. I long for an audience waiting with bated breath for the next installment, but the reality is there isn’t anyone out there dying to read whatever I come up with next except maybe my Mom. Hi, Mom.

I do have a fear of failure. Many times I just power through that feeling in my writing. I don’t let myself get overwhelmed and worried over it. Still, a bit of it always creeps through and I start to question my talent and ask why anyone in their right mind would care about whatever I say on whatever topic I choose.

If I write words that I’m proud of then that’s all the reward I should ever need. The goal I have is to simply write, to the best of my ability. I don’t have much of an end-goal in mind. So, I just throw up words on the screen and do my best to organize them into something that make sense.