Recently I read an old Laurell K. Hamilton interview in Writer’s Digest.
I’ve read a lot of suggestions from published authors for new or fledgling authors, which I often find to be redundant and not helpful. Contrary to my expectations, I really enjoyed what Laurell had to say:
“Writers write. Put your butt in the chair and write on a regular basis…I start off by writing why I can’t write. Type every reason you can’t write. Complain, bitch, whatever. Half a page to a page in, the muse says, ‘Well, if you’re going to be writing anyways, you can do better than this.’ Also, if you don’t protect your time no one will. I wrote my first book two pages a day, five days a week.”*
Now I may be interpreting this wrong, but it sounds to me like Laurell has just as much trouble (some days) sitting down and writing as I do. I’m always wondering why I have the desire to write (story ideas show up at my doorstep almost daily) but little drive to sit down and do the dirty work. I figured something was wrong with me, like I was born wired wrong or something. I mean, why would anyone think of so many stories but feel like they are pulling teeth when it comes time to put those stories onto paper? Luckily, hearing a published and famous author also struggles to sit down and write makes me feel a little better about my own constant feet-dragging.
Sometimes when it’s hard to sit down and write I think maybe this isn’t what I should be doing, but Laurell’s comment reaffirms that even published authors struggle with motivation and I can take comfort in knowing that writing is still something I should be doing even if it’s hard for me to sit down and do it. While I’m still not going to be the person that can demand a set schedule for daily writing, at least not any time soon, I’ll make a better effort.
*Quote Source: Schneider, Maria. “Genre Bender.” Writer’s Digest Apr. 2008: 49. Print.