The Reverend Robert Schuller passed away in April of this year. He wrote and said many positive things over the course of his 88 years. I don’t personally follow his belief system, but I know truth can come from many sources. So the title of this post, one of his quotes, speaks deeply to me.
My virtual mentor, Kristan Higgins, said that we must have the courage to write a bad novel. It’s part of that philosophy of Just Write It! April Kihlstrom’s Book in a Week theory is similar. Sit down at your writing post and just write!
Wait, I hear you saying, I just wrote a really awful book! How is that a good thing? Well, I’ll tell you! To paraphrase the Cowardly Lion, What makes a Best Seller out of a First Draft? Courage! And critique groups. And editing. And rewriting. But mostly Courage. Because if you don’t write the darn thing in the first place, you might as well sell your computer and take up tatting.
Before doing anything that drastic, give yourself a deadline. Honestly, deadlines work very well. But you have to make yourself stick to them. Self publishing is all well and good, but you have to have a goal and a deadline. Otherwise you will be like me, and trying to get the second book in a series written and published.
Of course, that makes me sound like a do as I say, not as I do person, but I know I have to get that book written. I know I have a month between the Bowman’s Inn anthologies to write on the book. The Winter Anthology will be out in early February 2016, but my story will be written in a week or so. My muse is hot on this one, I even had to put notes on my phone at the RWA holiday party because the muse wanted to distract me from the cheesecake. Little good did it do.
And I have gotten more writing done since I started sprinting with my fellow writers on line. A sprint is where you all go on line to a place like your own Google hang out or Facebook page, and agree on a start time and a duration. Say, noon today for one hour. Then you write for that time, and come back to report your word count or any problems you encountered. For instance, a dog needed her head scratched. Or a bird had to sit somewhere warm.
I’ve sprinted 3 days in the last week, and written over a thousand words each time. That’s like a 400% increase in my writing from last month. All it takes is the courage to write without caring about the quality for now. Without stopping to find the name of the little town in Belgium. That can be done later. For now: Just. Write.
What makes the Hunger Games so hot? What puts the “came” in Camelot? What have they wrote with that I ain’t wrought? Courage! Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.