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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Productive Writer: Take That Flying Leap

“I want to write a book.”

“I want to finish writing a book.”

“I wrote a book and I want to get it published.”

“I want to be a better writer.”

The more I write and the more I read, the more I learn that the writers who have careers are the ones who take that flying leap. I’ve read about authors who turn out book after book. What’s the difference between a wannabe and someone who’s productive?

Productive writers show up—consistently.

I can testify and wave my hand that life tries to get in the way—and often succeeds. But I believe the more we treat our writing as a business, the more we will see results. Be your own employer. Are you punching that time clock? My day job requires that I work on the clock a minimum of 40 hours per week. For the past few months, it’s been more than that. Since I work in medical transcription, I’m not salaried but paid on production. The more notes I type, the more I get paid.

The more a writer writes, the more they’ll get paid—maybe not in a contract, but in experience. They earn the feeling of writing a story with a beginning, middle, and an end. Did you know the percentage of people who write a book is far, far smaller than those who actually finish a book they start?

Productive writers don’t make excuses—often.

I can say this because I’ve sometimes been the Queen of Excuses. I’m too tired. My family needs me. A certain TV show is on. My favorite football team is playing. The ladies at church are stuffing candy bags for the harvest party. I’m doing ‘research.’ Fill in the blank. Yes, there are reasons we can’t write sometimes. Children don’t stay little forever. Sometimes we do need some downtime for a TV show or a game. Sometimes we reclusive writers must venture out and serve in-person. But every time you think of writing, does something else fill the time?

Check out Randy Ingermanson’s Advanced Fiction Writing blog. I’ve been evaluating how I spend my time and how I can become a more productive writer. A romantic suspense proposal desperately needs my attention so I can submit it.

Next time…Productive writers don’t listen to fear…for long…


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