Happy New Year’s Eve! I hope you have some amazing plans which may or may not be remembered in the morning.
The years come and go and we make our resolutions. The gym will be ridiculously busy the next month, so I’ll be going in late at night. People will start their great novel. You know the one, where they’ve started it on January first for the past three years and by January 14th, it’s a leaf blowing in the wind.
Some of you participated in NaNoWriMo. A few of you beat it. You didn’t wait for the new year to say “I’m going to write a novel.” You didn’t spend months writing 50,000 words. You did it in four weeks. That’s how you show a resolution who is boss.
This is all leading up to something that isn’t really advice as far as how to write or develop what you create. It is the one piece of advice I’ve found basically universally useful. I only say basically because I generally don’t like stating absolutes. The one piece of advice, I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times, I’ve sure I’ve written it, but it consists of one word: Write.
In this new year, whatever you do, if you mean to become a writer of whatever path, write. Don’t look back, don’t spend all your time planning, don’t give in to making a map for two weeks and getting nothing done with your words. Just write.
Want to know why you should write? There will come a point where you look at your words on the page and lift your nose at it. It smells like feces stuck to the bottom of your shoe on a hot and humid day. You don’t write a miraculous first draft. No one does. Once that first smelly piece of dung is out of your fingers, you can riffle through the pile for what’s worthwhile. But make sure the pile is all there or you’ll stop passing your first draft. Because what you find in there, I’m not going to lie, it’s scary. It’s scary as…. Well you get the idea.
I hope you write. I hope you show the world that vision stuck in your head. It’s a lot of work. You will write tens of thousands of words, maybe hundreds of thousands, before something really looks good. But I hope you think it’s worth it.
Happy new year. Thank you for reading the Art of Writing. Hope you’ve learned something and hope you’ve found some ideas and inspiration.