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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Writers Write.

Writers write. I know this is a revolutionary concept, so let me run it by you again. Writers... write.

I often get asked, "But how do you have the time?" Usually this question is asked by someone who has always wanted to write a book, but who has never figured out how to sit down and make it happen. Also not uncommon is for this sort of person to say that they've wanted to write a book for years. Years. Not months or weeks, but years. "Sure, I'm a writer," these people say. "I just haven't finished my book yet. I don't have the time." "How much of it do you have done?" I might ask. "Oh, you know... bits and pieces..." Quick change of subject.

If you do not actually write, you are not a writer. I'm not trying to be a condescending jerk; I'm trying to motivate you. There are a number of things that keep wannabe writers from becoming actual writers, and some of these things are legitimate reasons. I don't want to discount anybody's personal experience or struggles, but if what's holding you back is just a general lack of time, then I'm here to tell you that you will never have the time to write a book. You must make the time. Do you really want another five or ten years to pass without your dream of becoming a novelist becoming a reality? If so, read no further. Go back to Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram. Social media is calling. But if there is a story burning inside of you longing to get out, then today is your day. Not tomorrow - today.

J. R. R. Tolkien wrote that the act of writing stories takes, "Labor, discipline, and special skill." Many people have the special skill part down, but lack in the labor and discipline. If you are lacking in any of those three areas, you will never be successful as a writer. How did I write eight novels while teaching full-time and giving birth to (and raising) four little boys? I have always made time to sit down and write. Not every day, but when it really matters, I do. So the question really becomes: How badly do you want it?

In honor of this subject and November being National Novel Writing Month, I thought I'd post a link to a fantastic article I found on this subject from NY Times bestselling author Hugh Howey. If you want a serious kick in the pants, this is where you can find it. Then go forth and write!