Wow. It is December, 2017. Another year ends.
Time for reflection!
I could do the standard New Year's resolutions thing, or I could do the standard reflect on all the good in your life thing, too. I’m not sure I want to do that. What to talk about? OK, let’s talk about my favorite virtue!
If you know me, you know that I am really big on courage. I think most of the world’s ills stem from people not exercising their courage.
It takes courage to be kind.
It takes courage to live your truth.
It takes courage to forgive people – especially yourself.
It takes courage to be honest.
It takes courage to change your mind.
It takes courage to write a book.
So ask yourself, were you courageous in 2017?
RMFW is a writer’s organization. It is filled with people who believe they have a story to tell. Did you tell your story? Did you go to our monthly programs to learn craft, or take an online class? Did you go to one of the announced book signings, or to the Writer of the Year panel? (I’ve always found those fascinating.) Did you listen to the RMFW podcast or join a critique group? Did you go to the Colorado Gold Conference? Did you finish your book? Did you start it? Why?
Did you do everything in your power to tell your story?
Writing a book is a courageous act, in and of itself. It’s a daunting task filled with self-doubt and fear. There are people who will question your passion, question your reasoning, and question your resolve to be an author. In spite of them, you still have this dream. You, gentle reader, should be praised for even attempting it.
But I don’t want you to stop with the attempt. I want you to celebrate the end of your journey. I want you to write that book!
I know you’re super busy with work and young children. I know you’ve got relatives to worry about. I know you’ve got a thousand different things on your plate that should get done before you write your story. I get it. But listen, if you don’t make your story a priority in your life, who will?
If you wrote 500 words a day, five days a week, in 32 weeks you would have an 80,000-word book! That’s eight months of writing. If you wrote 600 words a day, you could cut a month off of that time.
Does it sound daunting? Does it sound scary? Well, good. Now I’ve got your attention. All you have to do is write. Everything will fall into place once you begin to write. Don’t worry about that shady character in chapter three. Don’t worry about how the star-crossed lovers are going to get together. Don’t worry about the sea of zombies, beavers, or zombie-beavers that are the standing in the way of your protagonist. Find a solution, even if you don’t like it. Go with it. Let go of your desire for perfection. I don’t remember who said it, but perfection is the ally of procrastination. There will never be a perfect time to write your book. The washing machine will break. You will lose your job. The kids will get sick. In spite of all of that, write your book.
Write your book with its run-on sentences and misspelled words. Write your book with its flawed premise and its lack of scientific or historical accuracy. Write your book with its bad dialogue. All of that can be edited. A flawed written book is much easier to fix than a flawed unwritten book. Put your butt in a seat with your favorite beverage and computer and write. You don’t need a lot of courage. Just enough to begin.
Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, is fond of saying “The world needs your novel.” I agree. The world does need your novel.
So write your book.