Monday, June 27, 2011

Follow Through

My most difficult challenge these days is trying to not to push other writers into discipline.

This is a particular challenge with the Meetup "Shut Up & Write!" meetings. I'm to the point where I am attending nearly every meeting, and in each one, whether I try to hide it or try to advertise it, it comes out that I'm a veteran of these meetings. Someone (or more than one person) ends up talking to me and asking me about my writing habits, about how to meet people in San Francisco, or confessing to me how they just can't get anything written.

I can relate. I have been there. I sometimes go there.

But at the end of the day, if you don't love to write as much (or more) as life itself, then bear in mind that it won't be good. It may take off. You may become famous. I'm reading a novel right now by someone who wanted to be famous. That's how the book reads, anyway. It's action-packed. It's all exotic.

It's a string of vomiting and sex linked by a train ride. I'm debating whether to stop reading it, because I'm hoping the second half of the novel will redeem the first half. I'm running a risk, though. It could just be more of the same.

That writer got lucky. I could love writing and write every day for all of time and not get published. The thing is, in the end, if that stops me.

It doesn't. So when they ask me for advice, I just say what my mother said, "Be patient." That's my stock answer. At the end of the day they either take it and write for the whole hour or the whole day (in the case of marathons), or they have better things to do or less want to write, and I see that come out, too.

My task is to let it go and not lecture them. Not everyone is cut out to be a writer. Even some of those who are published.

Write on.

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