Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Productive Writer: Eyes on the Prize

Sometimes when we’re slogging through a proposal, or trying to finish a scene, it’s tempting to stop and try something “more fun.” For me, more fun would be pursuing a story idea and seeing if it has merit enough to turn into a book. Or we suddenly think we need to do more research on police procedure (which might be the case), but sometimes research can take the place of writing and we get nothing done. Research can become a distraction from getting our immediate task done—that scene, that chapter.

The reason I can say these things is because I’m guilty. What I’ve realized is that productive writers see their goal. Every scene, every chapter is a stepping stone to that wonderful pair of words—The End. Of course, writers know once a book is finished, it’s time for editing, but that’s for another post. Think of every motivational cliché you’ve ever heard:

Rome wasn’t built in a day.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

I don’t know about you, but it’s the itty bitty steps that get me. I’m not afraid to admit what hard work writing really is. I can’t tell you the number of writers that I hear whose career is a series of fits and starts, or writers who can’t get a simple proposal in the mail to an agent.

Then there’s the productive writer. I think of several authors immediately. They pursue those two beautiful words (The End) one word, one scene, one chapter at a time. Maybe the chapter stinks the first time round, but that’s okay. Stinky can be fixed. An unfinished book can’t.

Lynette Sowell


Post a Comment

<< Home