On Writing: Are All Your Ducks Lined Up?

Sorry for the radio silence over here at The Blabbermouth Blog. It’s not like I didn’t have anything to say (about going to the Texas Book Festival, coming home early so I didn’t get stuck in Austin, meeting Maureen Johnson on a long line at the airport and being kind of star struck… About being without electricity for a week or skirting actual disaster from Hurricane Sandy… About my worries and concerns regarding the presidential election… About preparing for another storm about to hit the New York area…). I think my problem, like many writers, is that I somehow feel that everything needs to be in order for me to write.

I’d like to recommend that you do as I say, not as I do. That is, nothing is everΒ really in order, so write anyway! Write when you’re on an airplane. Write when the lights are out (By hand! By candle light! You can do it!). Write when you don’t know which direction the country (or your life or the world) is going, whether your guy or the other guy will be in charge. Write when the future is uncertain. Write when you know that what you’re going to write is going to suck. Or when nobody will read it. Or when you’re not sure what to say. For those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, write because you said you were going to. For those of you not participating in NaNoWriMo, write because you said you were going to. Write because you have something (or nothing) to say, but because who you’ve said you are is a writer. And writers write.

So tell me: What are you waiting for? Are you writing?


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9 responses to “On Writing: Are All Your Ducks Lined Up?

  1. I literally just decided to give up on my NaNo project–well, at least to put it aside–’cause I’m not feeling it. And then I read your blog and yeah…I should carry on ’cause I said I was going to.
    I don’t like my character. I think I should kill her and give the part to someone else.

  2. I write because I’m really supposed to be marking papers or editing theses, but the minute I sit down to do this, all I can think about is the story I’m working on. Nothing makes writing more compelling than the knowledge that I ought to be doing something else.

  3. Glad you’re safe and sound, Linda!

    I’m normally a big proponent of writing when things are out of order. In fact, I’ve done some of my best work under crap circumstances. But this whole hurricane thing? Damn. I don’t think I could have written anything more than a few indulgent, weather-related haikus. Thankfully, Toronto got off easy Sandy-wise, so I am writing. Working on novel #2 right now and a semi-new short story.

  4. I tried to write by firelight, but by 3pm my hands were so cold it was hard to hold the pen. Then I tried gloves but that didn’t work either. I wonder if that’s why Madonna cut the fingertips off her gloves?…. Happy to have power back and be writing again!

  5. I try to write at least a little bit every day, whether it’s on my WIP or on my blog or in my diary. Luckily, I love to write longhand, so when I’ve got two toddlers who won’t leave my open laptop alone, I can retreat to an open notebook on my lap. (They seem to be less interested in those – for now.)

    I hope things will get back to normal for you soon (post-Sandy) and that the coming storm will miss you completely! Stay safe!

  6. First, I’m so happy you’re safe and sound and back on the radar. Second, I’m jealous about you meeting Maureen Johnson.

    On writing: I write sucky blog posts pert near every day.Luckily, I know better than to post them. But they sometimes lead to sucky story ideas. Which sometimes lead to good story (or revision) ideas.

  7. Great advice, and I’m plugging away. At the dining room table as we speak. Thank you for the inspiration in all forms πŸ™‚

  8. Beth

    I’m most revising at this point and keeping track of all the new ideas that swarm around in their attempt to distract me. It’s nice for my brain to be clear enough that there’s space for creativity to emerge.

  9. Thanks for this. I’ve posted to FB as a reminder to self. I live in lower Manhattan and while I’ve managed to write (even by candlelight), it’s felt like anything I have to say is inadequate right now and can’t account for the difficulties so many in our region are going through. But we don’t have to say it all, do we? We just have to begin. Thank you for doing just that and reminding the rest of us.