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 They may not be published yet – but what I’ve observed again and again is that persistence pays a better dividend than talent.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.


The Rookie Writer said...

You make some good points in terms of just getting things done and eventually, if you weed through the garbage, you'll find the gold.

I think some writers get discouraged by reading published novels. They think that this is beyond anything they can ever do. And maybe they're right. But more likely, they're ignoring the fact that most authors, even the best, write a lot of garbage and have to get their editor to help them make sense of it.

Write, revise, revise, revise, and then have someone else revise. Believing is the only way.

Butt in chair, hands in keyboard, right?


Anthony James Barnett - author said...

Good post. Well done.

I wonder if you're interested in doing a 'blog swap' with me. I'm a published author struggling to promote my work.

If you'll do an interview about me on your blog. I'll do an interview about you on my blog. I've already done this with several authors, and I want to expand.

Warren Adler said...

Very interesting post. If a writer can’t wait to get down to work every morning and approach his/her composition with excitement and enthusiasm he/she is on the right track.

Kaylee said...

My advice on this: try ritualizing. Set aside a block of time each day at the same time every day to work. Listen to the same music every time. Wear some special article of clothing (e.g. a writing hat). Eat the same snack before hand. Drink the same drink every time you work.

For me listening to the same music CD every time is enough. Every time I hear that music, I can't help but work on my novels.



While I'm here, I want to recommend (as this is an authors blog) a service I use to publish my novels online. I’m quite happy with it and think other authors might like it:


Karen Peralta said...

I have some half dozen articles on writing in at Ezine Articles in the UK, plus other articles on other subjects. I usually have to be inspired to write, as it's the only way I can get a solid idea. But if you give me an idea, I can ghost write it, no problem.

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Laurie said...

This encourages me. Thank you!!!

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