Scrap bunny! For sale, incidentally, if you’re in the market. See www.cobbettandpaws.com, or https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/CobbettAndPaws. The bunny listings aren’t up yet, but they will be in the next 48 hours 🙂
This may or may not be for a Thing-In-Progress. I admit to nothing. O:)
It’s pretty normal to worry as a beginning writer that someone is going to steal your idea. What you eventually realise though is that it doesn’t matter, because we’re all using like the same five (nine, twelve, three, one – pick your critical theory) ideas anyway. Case in point:
Happy Friday, everyone.
Look! I did actually make a genuine arty thing this week! There are a few errors because I couldn’t be bothered doing pencil guidelines or anything, and there are a few places that need more detail, but still. Rah! Art!
Here’s the thing. You’ve been waffling back and forth over this thing called writing for a long time now, and really, we’ve all had just about enough. You say you want this, that it’s a life ambition, a goal, whatever; you say that it’s impossible to achieve with everything else you have going on in your life.
You’ve read the advice. You’ve read the books, the courses, the blog posts, the articles: Writers write. Whether they feel like it or not, whether they’re feeling inspired or not, they show up, they apply fingers to keyboard, and they write. Even if it’s junk. Because at least junk is practice.
Moaning in your head or on twitter or wherever that you don’t have time to write is not. Shocking, I know.
But seriously: remember what you read the other day in that glorious book of Liz Gilbert’s? No one cares! It doesn’t actually matter! If you can’t write during term time, then fine! Don’t write! But don’t then spend every waking minute berating yourself for not. Seriously. If you have energy to berate, you have energy to write.
Ultimately, this comes down to one thing, and one thing only: you either want it, or you don’t.
If you want it, don’t spend one-two-three-four-five hours procrastinating on social media or surfing the ‘net before you actually get to writing (and then wonder why you’re now too tired). Don’t stare blankly at the computer wondering what’s supposed to be happening (that’s what outlining is for, or at the very least, grab a freaking pen and do a brainstorm on some paper). And most of all, don’t angst back and forth, praying and wishing and hoping and wondering whether or not you’re “supposed” to be a writer or not. You’ve already had your answer there: Show up, and a career will too. Show up, and the magic will eventually happen.
Eventually. You know this ain’t happening overnight. You know the hours you have to put in for this to work. Either you want it enough to go for it, or it’s all too hard and you don’t want it enough – which, hey, that’s totally legitimate! You don’t need writing to put food on the table or pay the bills; you don’t need writing to help you sleep at night. This is, literally, the icing on the cake. You write because you like it.
You do like it, don’t you? Because if not, why are we even having this conversation? If you don’t like it, just stop already. No one’s going to call you a failure, a quitter, a loser. If you don’t like writing, then stop.
Oh, she says slyly. You don’t want to stop? You do like it after all? Well fancy that.
In that case, I have just one more question for you. Are you ready? Sure? Okay. Here’s my final question:
WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE ANGSTING WHEN YOU COULD BE WRITING A STORY, WOMAN? GO. GET THEE HENCE.
And remember, the whole point is that it’s fun, not work.
A PS for the not-me people in the audience: I still feel like this hasn’t quite captured the epiphanicness of my epiphany the other day, and certainly this isn’t as gloriously worded as the letter I wrote myself in my head at the time, but the point is there, I suppose: I really do spend an awful lot of time questioning a) whether or not I’m ‘supposed’ to be a writer and b) if I am, then why it’s so hard to actually achieve writing in my day-to-day life. The epiphany was: It’s hard because I lack commitment. That’s it. Full stop. Case in point: I wrote over a thousand words in the doctor’s waiting room last week purely and simply because it was post-this-epiphany and I made the decision not to be distracted. I fail at getting my word count in yes, because life is super busy, but actually mostly because I fail to decide not to be distracted. This is me, deciding: I will not be distracted any longer. Or at least, I’ll do my level best to recognise when that’s happening, and to recognise that the only one responsible for whether or not I am willing to allow myself to be distracted from my goals is ME. On that note, I’m off to sew some play mats and write some words. <3 A
Liana Brooks, twin of my soul if not my actual blood, and I email each other quite a lot. Actually truth be told, I email her more than she emails me, because she is the kind of creature who will send considered emails at sustainable intervals, or else will email me the day’s writing for safekeeping, where as I am the kind of creature who will fire off seven single-sentence emails to the same person in under and hour. Oops. O:) Somewhere in the midst of all of this crazy, an email genre I like to call “Dear Amy” has been established – and I’m not sure Liana is even aware of it? but any time I get an email from her that starts ‘Dear Amy’, I know it’s That Kind Of Email.
Which kind? The kind where someone you know, love and trust is basically doing you a favour by telling you to pull your head out of the ground, stop having an unproductive whinge, and bloody well get on with it. We all need someone in our lives to give us a Dear [Name] talking to once in a while, that’s for sure 😀
However. Sometimes, procuring a Dear [Name] email when I need one is all too hard: maybe the twinny one is preoccupied; maybe I’m preoccupied and don’t have time to email my whinge in order to provoke the necessary reply; or maybe, the issue is just too complicated. You know, sometimes, when you try to explain a problem to someone else, and all their answers are super helpful in theory but in practice are actually just slightly off point, like they’re not quite understanding the crux of the issue? Yeah, that.
You know what, though? You can totally write your own Dear [Name] letter. I had a bit of a Moment the other night when I was lying in bed attempting to get my brain to shut up so I could sleep. It just sort of hit me what one of the main problems I’ve been having with writing is, and before I knew it, I was composing my own Dear Amy letter in my head. I’ll share it with you on Thursday, but in the meantime, this is just your official permission in case you needed it to say that yes, sometimes (not all the time, but sometimes) what you need most is a kick in the proverbial pants, and that yes, you are totally capable of doing that for yourself. Because you are awesome, and you rock. *fistbump*.
Okay, cheating a little this Monday: this is not something I created. I HAVE, however, created things since last Monday: some writing, some play mats, half a drawing. So. Not a total cop-out. And besides, this amused me, and I wanted to share it 😉