The First Step

Surfing around wordpress, I ran into a post from thecrazywriter (j.j. melzer) about finding the time to write. He has a good attitude, which boils down to, if you love writing, you’ll find time to write.

If you’re a writer, you’ll run into people from time to time who get this sort of starry-eyed look and say, “Oh, I’d love to be a writer.” But it usually turns out they’re just too busy taking care of kids or whatever. This is often, I’m sure, an excuse that draws a veil over the feeling that they lack the talent. But taking them at their word, what I like to tell them is this:

As a writer, you’ll be called upon to solve hundreds of problems large and small. What to name your character. How to start the second chapter. Where to end the second chapter. Whether you’ve spent too much space describing the room and the furniture, or not enough. How to spell “coagulate.” Whether “coagulate” is the word you want to use here. Whether to break a long sentence in half or leave it the way it is. Which literary agent to approach next. What to say in your letter to the agent. Do you need a website yet?

It never ends. And the very first problem you have to solve is, When will I find a few hours to write?

Until you solve that problem, all of the other problems will remain hypothetical. But just because you’ve solved it doesn’t mean you’re good to go. It’s just the first problem in an endless stream.

The journey of a thousand miles begins when you fall flat on your face, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, swear at the person who left the great big rock lying in the middle of the road, kick the rock a couple of times, hop up and down on one foot while rubbing your broken toe, swear some more, sit down and sulk for a while, get up, step very carefully around the rock this time, and…

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1 Response to The First Step

  1. Ken Kiser says:

    Well said.I recently had to answer those questions when I took the steps to finish my first novel. Finding the time to write is an absolute must for any serious writer. It wasn’t until i understood it, that I made the progress that lead me to the end.

    Now I’m shopping for an agent.

    It’s great to read the advice and experiences of someone with some real writing credits and an obvious level of knowledge in the field.

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