Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Discipline is a Muscle

How many times have you thought to yourself, "I sure wish my book were out."

It can be hard, sitting at your computer screen and looking at a word count that feels measly. Whether that word count is 247 (or 2470 or 24,700) if your goal is a published book, the distance between reality and your dream can feel exhausting and perhaps improbable.

In an interview in the newspaper Idaho Statesman, on 10/14/08, author Laura Lippman shared how she moved from being a newspaper reporter to published novelist -- 4 pages at a time. She spoke how she simply loved writing and really did sit down daily and write about 1000 words a day. It was that simple.

OK. Well, maybe it is a bit more complex than that. There is a craft to writing that must be achieved to actually write books that people want to read. But the craft comes after the actual writing. If you don't have words on a page, how can you polish them?

So the next time you feel like despairing over your unfinished manuscript, instead of getting cerebral about where you're not, sit in front of the computer instead and get lost in the world you are creating. Ignore punctuation, ignore grammar rules. Just play around in your written world.

That's right; romp in your fictional world with your characters and just have fun. You'll find yourself writing more and commiserating less over unfinished projects. And in the end, you will find yourself with a completed manuscript, bringing you much closer to being like published authors similar to Laura Lippman. With a completed draft, then you can focus on the craft of writing and begin the next portion: editing and seeking an agent (if that's your dream).

But until you are actually writing and completing your project, the reality of "published author" will stay far, far ahead of you. For more information on bringing your dreams into realities, visit my new blog, The Butterfly Principle. And make sure to join our forum for camaraderie and fun along your "written way."