At the recent LERA (Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) Christmas party, we exchanged gifts and writing tips. Some of the tips were old stand bys, some were new, and some came at just the right time. The one impressing me the most was: “Set a timer clock for fifteen minutes, and write until the timer goes off. It doesnâ€™t matter what you write, even “I hate writing, I hate my computer, I hate books, this is stupid, why do I put myself through this torture.” Well before the end of the fifteen minutes youâ€™ll be writing in someone elseâ€™s mind, and youâ€™ll be back to a story instead of a blank screen.
Or so the theory goes. It canâ€™t be much more difficult than answering e-mails and heaven knows weâ€™re nearly all good at that. You just donâ€™t take your hands off the keys for anything until the fifteen minutes are up.
Iâ€™m writing this while my husband takes a shower, which is usually about fifteen minutes. No timer yet but itâ€™s probably not as important as just plain writing. Another tip was to read Lawrence Blockâ€™s “Telling Lies for Fun and Profit.” Okay, that was my tip, because that one book has done more to help me over this non-writing hump than anything else. Going to seminars didnâ€™t help, hearing about contests I could enter didnâ€™t help. Reading that book did help. The hint that meant the most to me was what I wrote down for my goal next month. Take your writing seriously, and take yourself seriously as a writer. Have respect for yourself as a writer, and treat writing like the job you want it to be.
This really hit home. How much respect was I giving myself as a writer? And not just a placer of words on a page, but a writer of readable fiction. Was I just skating on the fact Iâ€™d written five books, who cares how good they were? Or on the fact Iâ€™d actually published for money, albeit it articles for dog magazines? And isnâ€™t that a thrill and a half, to hold that first check? Not quite enough of a thrill to frame it in lieu of cashing but still pretty darned cool.
So Iâ€™m taking that advice, writing fifteen minutes every day and turning out something, good or bad. Exercise builds muscle, and you burn calories even when you canâ€™t exercise like the pros. Iâ€™m exercising those imagination muscles – they were getting pretty flabby!
Showerâ€™s off, and looky here I wrote my blog for the month! Hereâ€™s wishing creative thoughts and flying fingers this holiday season