Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Get to Work!

Writers are an insecure bunch.  We are always sneaking a peek at everyone else's writing process assuming our own approach is somehow insufficient. Wrong.  We need the assurance that what we are doing is within the realm of acceptance so we humbly ask, "How do you revise?"" What writing programs do you use?" " I use the Oxford comma, do you?" It isn't a malady for beginners alone. Seasoned writers do this too, convinced that better methods of note taking or editing shine on the horizon.

While learning new techniques is a good thing, it shouldn't consume more than a fraction of your writing time. I know a gentleman who has called himself a writer for years, but has never submitted a manuscript.  He is , however, an expert on other things. Like going to writer's conferences, and kibitzing in online chats.  He is constantly learning about writing, but not writing.  If my mom were here, she'd say, "If you're a writer, then write!"  Not to the man's face, of course. That would be rude.  But Mom would definitely think it.

I'm reminded of all this because I, too, have been wallowing in this pit of procrastinative learning (Like my new word?).  It tends to happen after the holidays when I'm easing myself back into the world of writing, and, thinking that other writers have marched into the new year with novel things to say, I throw myself into surfing the net,  keeping my ear to the ground,  elbow to the wheel, or whatever.  But I'm fooling myself. I'm putting off real work. I know it, and my mother's voice in my head knows it.

So, if you are reading this hoping you'll get sage advice that will catapult you onto the Newbery list, you are in luck. Here it is.  Get off the Internet and get to work!  Write something!!

You're welcome.   


  1. Great advice Peggy! As Jane Yolen says so often: Put the seat of the pants in the sea of the chair. And stay there! Cheers for 2017!

  2. Needed that boot, Peggy! Great post, thanks for the encouragement and inspiration. 2017 is going to be a better writing year for this guy.