Typing Faster

August 19, 2009

Breaking In: Real Writers Write

Filed under: Breaking In, Craft, Working — petertypingfaster @ 9:00 am

It’s usually pretty easy to tell if an aspiring writer is going to make it or not. Of course luck plays into it, but really it comes down to one simple thing.

Real writers write.

You can’t be that person who always goes on about their novel, the one that they haven’t worked on in years. If you spend more time talking about your writing than writing, you’re on the express train to nowheresville.

Real writer write.

Real writers grind it out. Writing isn’t art. Writing is work. If writing is your only source of income, you can’t sit around and wait for inspiration to strike. If you’re working on staff and your episode is supposed to go to camera tomorrow, there’s nothing for it but to sit at your desk and grind it out.

There is no such thing as writer’s block for a professional writer. To quote John August:

You know who gets writer’s block? Non-writers. They think it’s cool and romantic to struggle to make Art. They make sure everyone knows how torturous the process is, so when they finally squeeze something out, it won’t be judged on its merits but rather the emotional anguish involved in its creation.

Writers write. Posers whine about how hard it is.

And of course it’s hard. Finding time to write is hard. Finding the energy to write when you’ve already worked a forty hour week is hard. But you know what?

Real writers write.

Set yourself a goal and then go out and achieve it. At least a couple of pages a day, closer to five if you can manage it. And don’t spread it out over a bunch of different projects. That may go counter to a lot of other advice, but a little focus goes a long way. If you grind out pages day in day out on one project instead of jumping around to multiple projects, you’ll actually finish something. Yeah it’s hard, but if you’re serious about it, you’ll keep at it.

Real writers write.

If you keep doing that you’ll get there eventually. A couple years back a really smart guy by the name of Randy Pausch gave a great lecture. One of my favorite pieces of advice was this.

Remember brick walls let us show our dedication. They are there to separate us from the people who don’t really want to achieve their childhood dreams. Don’t bail. The best of the gold’s at the bottom of barrels of crap.

Keep writing and eventually you’ll get to the bottom of that barrel of crap, and if you’re lucky there’ll be some gold waiting for you.

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1 Comment »

  1. Amen and agreed. Onward and upward.

    Comment by Erin — August 19, 2009 @ 3:28 pm


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