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Write, no matter what

Posted: Friday, Mar 8th, 2013

Ed Close

As a writer, I often find it difficult to find time to write ó other than here at the paper ó with my hectic schedule. Iím sure Iím not alone in this.

There are some tricks Iíve learned over the years that may help other writers who experience this problem. In the mentoring Iíve done, I have heard so many different reasons writers fail to write, it makes my head spin. I remember those reasons and the ones Iíve made for myself when I run into this in my writing schedules.

I donít forgive myself easily for the lack, as I find the excuses donít hold up well under scrutiny. The bottom line is we can tell ourselves anything we want and tell ourselves the reasons are legitimate when, in fact, they really arenít.

The trick is focus. Our boys have had conversations with me while Iím writing and my wife simply tells them to leave me be and try again later, as I am not aware they are even talking to me. It took a long time to learn to focus like that with all the distractions life throws our way, but if we are to be professional writers, we have to learn to do this. We have to allow our cluttered minds to focus on the place we are writing about and the subject matter involved, and tune everything else out.

Thatís not an easy trick but, once learned, invaluable. I am writing the first draft of my ninth novel in a series at present, and I have caught myself making those old excuses a time or two. I chastise myself over this more than anyone else because, no matter what else is going on, I should be writing. In the case of my house burning down or a terrible accident or some other event of that level of importance, I could forgive myself for not making myself work at my avocation, but all the other tedious interruptions life throws my way simply arenít good enough.

As writers, we have to be disciplined to what we do, and not be kind to ourselves over allowing such things to halt our progress. Write, no matter what. Thatís what real writers do.

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