Some thoughts on writing

Remember awhile back I mentioned that I was finally writing? Not blog writing (because, irrationally, I haven't considered my blog real writing) but novel writing.

Well, it has been slow-going since then. As in, like...I've written only six pages since then. In five months. Six pages.

This has nagged and nagged at me, and I have felt like nothing short of a failure. Naturally, I talk myself out of it by reminding myself that I have a family, that I have work, that I blog, that just because I'm not writing now doesn't mean I never will. Which is all true. But still...I haven't written anything!

But recently I had dinner with an award-winning author - she's wicked smaht and very generous with her advice and personal writing experiences. And in the course of the evening, she made the casual comment that she doesn't need to write everyday. Fascinating, I thought. I just got the impression that full-time writers really do nothing but write. Every day. For hours. Right? This author went on to tell me that, when she does school visits, she tells the kids something along this line: you don't have to write reams and reams of paper to be a writer. You can write a page a day, you can write a paragraph a week. Writing is writing, and it's not defined by frequency. And this doesn't make you any less committed to the craft and the passion for writing. (I'm elaborating here - this isn't verbatim from the author.)

What an important lesson not only for children who love writing, but also for grown-ups like me who love it too. Likewise, what is writing? Is it writing a novel? Aren't I writing here on my blog? When I blog, don't I need some tea or a glass of wine to put me in the mindset? Don't I need just the right playlist to set the mood? Don't I put words to electronic paper? Yes, yes, yes. It may not be great, I may not have a large audience, and I may not do it as regularly as I'd like. But it is writing.

So I may not be working on that novel but I'm still writing. And while I sit here writing, Bug is right next to me, filling in blanks in her Diary of a Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book, and that is also a kind of writing. And I love that we're writing together.

Eat, drink, and put words to paper. Any words.

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Kristin Cashore said...


Erin said...

amen, indeed! very good post.