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Bite the Bullet

Every now and then, you'll hear aspiring writers say they have to drive to Topeka, have a doctor's appointment or their sister-in-law is coming over, etc. and that's going to be a problem for them to get the writing done they had planned. They are preparing themselves and others for not writing.


Here are the three brutal truths of writing novels:


1. Life happens despite us wanting to write novels.

2. Novels take writing every day to get them finished.

3. Successful novelists write every day, no matter what.


It is a very slippery slope when we allow events in our lives, especially demands on us/our time, to keep us from writing. Soon almost everything is an excuse to keep from writing. We simply have to find the time to write, no matter what. Otherwise, a couple of years go by, we have not made the time, we still aren't finished, and we discover we have lost our enthusiasm and confidence to write our novel.


Nothing grows colder faster than a story not worked on every day. And daily interruptions are the cause as well as the excuse for not writing.


What's the solution? It's not easy. There will be times in your writing life where you simply have to stay up later or get up earlier to get the writing done. This is particularly true during the years before you are a full-time writer when that becomes your only job. Up to that point, you have two jobs. I know, I thought I would die on the freeways of Los Angeles while I was trying to become a full-time writer. My day job was almost all-consuming and meant I had to leave the house between five and six every morning, and I didn't get home until eleven or later at night. This only left me with midnight to four to write. But it had to be done. I could have put it off until there was a better time to write. But when would that be? I still needed to pay bills while I was trying to make the transition to full-time writer.


This added burden on our time is what keeps most people from becoming writers. It is a rite of passage you will look back on and be glad you have it in your rearview mirror when you are a few novels down the line. Stealing the time to write until you are making the bucks that allow you to dump your day job just can't be avoided.


So if we really want to be writers, we have to write, no excuses, no postponing it until later. We need to underscore our statement that we want to be a writer with writing. We need to follow through and do what it takes to fulfill our dreams. This is a complete lifestyle change that is permanent once we decide that writing, as a career, is what we want to do. So we are better off just biting the bullet, leaning into it, getting the writing done, and not being tempted to let visitors, appointments, travel, etc. be reasons why we don't write. We need to do those things AND write.