Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard

Butt in Chair – Hands on Keyboard – BUCHOK – it should be the motto of every serious writer. I first heard of his from a fellow writer (who by the way earns his living freelancing). There is no substitute to getting dirty in playpen of words and sentences.

You need a plan for writing. Most successful writers I know have a plan. Maybe they get up a hour before everyone else in the house (helpful if you have small kids.) Or maybe late at night. You can write a page or two – amazing what a limited timeframe force you to accomplish in a short period of time. If you can average 2 pages a day – you’ve got an entire book (or two) by year’s end.

At our monthly writers meeting I see (at least) two kind of folks – both who what to be writers – one dreams about it – thinks about it – wishes for it – and may be very, very talented. However, without that butt in the chair and the hands on the keyboard, publishing success is unlikely to happen.

Then there is the other kind -- one that reads every book about writing they can get their hands on – they write all kinds of stuff – searching for the genre that best fits their talents and disposition. They write and keep writing. They read. And then they write some more. This kind of writer will make it. They may not be published yet – but what I’ve observed again and again is that persistence pays a better dividend than talent. If you have both then you are indeed blessed.

Time is a wasting – write something today – right now. Write a sentence – maybe two. Turn it into a paragraph. Can you write an entire page? Sure, it may be worthless stuff – frankly most writing is only fit for the garbage can (even for experienced writers). But, when you write and write and write, you will eventually hit your stride – words will come from your mind and heart that are golden. Capture those, keep writing. Oops, the garbage is back – that’s okay. Keep writing. The golden words will appear again. When you’ve created enough golden words, you have a treasure – something you have written that is worthy of reading. All because you put your butt in the chair and your hands on the keyboard.