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A First Time Author's Journey

"Writers write." (December 19, 2014)

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"Writers write." (December 19, 2014)
I was listening to a sports talkshow podcast a few months ago and a caller identified himself as an aspiring writer. The show host, ESPN's Matthew Berry, asked the caller if he had a website where he could check out his work while they chatted on the phone. Berry, who is a prolific writer as well as on-air personality, strikes me as a great example of a professional writer. He cranks out words by the metric ton in his regular columns and he has a book out as well. He is a writer's writer. So when Berry saw that the caller's website had very little content and had not been updated in weeks he challenged the guy. Not in a mean way, but more in a constructive way to help motivate the guy. Despite Berry's typical verbose style, he summed up his advice to this aspiring writer in just two words: "Writers write." With my deadline to get the finished manuscript to the publisher now just 43 days away, I get how profound that simple piece of advice was. Writing is hard work. Very hard work. I can feel my brain burning calories when I do it. It is easy to find excuses to not start. "Gotta just do this one thing before I sit down and start..." After I start writing, it is very easy to get distracted, with the InterWebsBook a seductive siren that never stops and is just a click away. I note the irony that the computers that make writing so much easier than typewriters of old are a double-edged sword that way. The good news is that I think I have found a good system to keep the word pump that is "my finger bones connected to my brain bones" going. I found the schedule that works best for me. (I have a someone who has helped me figure that out, but I will save the story about my writing muse/coach/good siren later.) Workout first thing in morning and then I can focus on writing the whole day without worrying about that. Get started and make a nice dent before lunch. Go out for lunch out and then set up office and write in the local coffee shop. Set a goal of at least 1000 new words before I can call it a day. Make an entry on a spreadsheet that lists new words per day and how many left to the requirement in the publishing contract. So, as of this morning, we are at just about 20,000 words, with 30,000 to go. If I remember my arithmetic, we are nearing the halfway point. With two of us writing away, that makes 15,000 words each over the next 43 days. I better get going...
Posted on March 14, 2015