As a writer, you are going to become familiar with what I call ‘The Exchange.’ This is how you pay for the talent, the gift, and your humility to the pursuit of this craft.
The Exchange is this:
Life happens in three ways: to you, through you, and around you. It your job as the writer to record, decode and make sense of what seems to not make sense. As a writer, you constantly exchange time for talent, work for experience, heartbreak for word count.
Even work you delay is written one word at a time.
In finding the bravery to keep going to complete your work, understand the doubts will come. They will try and root. They will whisper to you. They will discourage you. But have courage, fellow oracle. Have courage!
Continue the work. Finish the work–one word at a time.
You are creating worlds, people and scenarios! Why would the process of creation be easy? Why would that process be easy? For some, it is easy! But sometimes that journey back to creativity and creation of the worlds in your head take detours. There are road blocks. There are apprehensions! But as a writer, they may always come–like the tides.
The thing you will learn is how to push back with the waves come to overtake. The thing that pushes the waves back the quickest–a pen.
Embrace that which is uncomfortable. Sometimes to get at what it is you want from a work, you have to wrestle with it. You have to be both writer and reader!
Answer the questions that need to be answered. Veil the things you want your readers to sit with. But wrestle, my dear ones. Be prepared to wrestle. The writing will be fun, the ride will be wild. Just beware of the curves.
The question most often fielded by writers is, “What are you working on?” From that picture, enter the WIP (Work In Progress). There is a pleasure that comes from discussing the new work–its like talking about a crush.
Or a new love, that loves you back–just as much as you do.
All these gorgeous blank pages waiting on the stroke of your hand, the sparks of your imagination. With this steady seduction, I want you to imagine the work you want to create. What you want the reader to see, feel, imagine or experience.
I want you to fall in love with the work first. If you have not fallen in love with what you are creating…no one else will.
This acronym is something which I think applies to writers. Moreover, this acronym can be constructed this way as well.
FEAR: False Energy Against Reality.
For writers, with writing, FEAR in both forms are eventual enemies of any creative person. However, there are three ways to combat these.
1.) Writing schedule. There is a portion of work, of writing work, which is demanding. It is rigorous. It is disciplined. When the Grand Dame Octavia Butler said, sometimes as a writer, you would rather clean toilets than write (this is true, but I digress). But having a set time, a schedule, will help you organize your thoughts and help you through the tough times of your works in progress.
*Note: I know life is hard, and scheduled time to write can be a dream. But you, as the writer, you have to make time. Even if it’s ten minutes a day. Or for that week. At least write the idea down, don’t lose it!
YOU MAY NOT GET IT BACK!
2.) Frequent reading. Writers are readers. It is in the pace and peace of reading that can prepare you to write. Or to continue to write. Reading allows the mind freedom to wander, to know, to question. Reading gives connections, fuels imagination and allows growth and space to write–in another voice, vantage point or genre.
If you can’t write, read.
3.) Step away from the work when needed. Sometimes the writing is hard. Sometimes the words don’t come, or come as you want. But what I want you to know if that if you need to walk away from the work, you can. You should. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to take a break and regroup!
The regrouping can be a quick as a walk outside, a drive around your block or a binging on your streaming service of choice. Having your mind occupying another space or place, can relax you–even help you to examine what hang up you have about what you’re working on. Never dismiss the rest you need as a writer. It doesn’t deter from your talent to rest.
Writing is like traveling through a forest. There is a trail, and you must find it. The great thing is, the comforting thing is, as a writer you can make one. Or another. You are never trapped.