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I SUCK!

Replacement filing cabinet

Image via Wikipedia

To let you know a little bit about 25-year-old me, I suck at writing – not so much the grammar or the clever way I string words into an aesthetically pleasing sentence but in my originality and imagination.  As a child, I had not a care in the world.  I believed in anything that anyone told me (not because I was naive but because I am a believer) and I came up with at least 1,000 story ideas every day.

Now I have 271 projects sitting on my desk, simply waiting to be completed and I don’t have the heart or the imagination to finish them.  These are childhood stories that I never did sit down to complete and now I almost feel as if they are better left in the dust of my filing cabinet.  They are tales that I poured my heart and soul into as a child and I feel now as if I have no heart or soul left to give to them.

I recently had one of the greatest writing experiences of my life, however.  I had the opportunity to listen to a talk presented by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love.  During this talk, Elizabeth discussed the muse at great length.  She even discussed how while writing Eat, Pray, Love she was having feelings of despair believing it would be the “worst book in the world.”  She said, during this time, that she looked into an empty corner of her office and addressed her muse directly.

She informed her muse that, if the work was terrible, she was not the only one to blame.  She said that she was working as hard as she could every day, waking up at the same time and forcing herself to write.  She guilted the muse into being there for her by saying aloud “I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job.”  If you are interested in the entirety of the talk (about 20 minutes), you can see it here.

Well, these last few years, I have forgotten myself.  I have failed to show up for my part of the job for years and my muse has been the one to give up on me.

From this day forward, I make this commitment.  I will show up to write every day if my muse will promise to forgive me and give me another chance.

– Paul Scott

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Personal

 

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Passion isn’t Always Enough

240/365 National Novel Writing Month begins

Image by owlbookdreams via Flickr

The end of November is closing in on me and I can’t help but look back and ponder on the events of this month and its importance to me.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, November is National Novel Writing Month.  I can’t tell you how hard it has been to stay on track with a project of this magnitude – writing a novel in 30 days.

It’s made me question myself and the way I view my life.  If you were to ask anyone who has had even one conversation with me, you would know that I am extremely passionate about writing.  I eat, sleep and breathe the written word.  Regardless of all that, this month has been more challenging and exhausting than any month I’ve ever had in my life.  Sticking to something that should come so easily to me (after all, I love doing it) was harder than I ever could have imagined and begged me to ask the question

Is passion enough?

I’ve learned that no matter how much I enjoy a job or work of any kind, including writing, I seem to approach it with a half-ass attitude.  There are so many other things that I could be doing right now instead of hammering away at my keyboard at 80-some odd words per minute.  I have over 300 movies in my movie collection as well as a subscription to Netflix, I have several video games that I still haven’t completed and about 20 or so unfinished books to read.

I have literally wanted to be a writer since I was able to pick up a pencil.  Why is it just as difficult to force myself to write as it is to get myself up early every morning for work?  After 9 hours of work, how can I expect myself to sit down and write for another few hours?  The answer is simple really:

I don’t have a clue!

My passion, writing.  And if only I had the time to do it every day.  That’s the excuse I make after my Weeds marathon with my wife.  Did I really need to watch so many episodes?  Probably not.  Was it more important than my writing?  Every day that I gave in to that urge, it was.  I treat the opportunity to veg out and let my brain retard itself into a stupor with equal or more respect than my passion for writing.

How embarrassing to think that I once thought like that.  The rewarding and euphoric feeling I have every night when I turn out the light knowing I’ve written my 1,667 words for the day (sometimes more) is 1000-fold the relaxation I feel while I drool at a digital video.

The more blogs I read that are written by true writers, the more I see that I’m not alone in my struggle.

– Paul Scott

P.S.  Special thanks to Cordelia, whom I pretty much stole the idea of this blog post from.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2010 in Inspirational

 

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NaNoWriMo – Halfway Point

National Novel Writing Month

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Today I reached my halfway point (25000 words) on my novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which puts me 2 days ahead of schedule.  Hopefully this pace continues so I can finish by Thanksgiving Day and be able to relax with my family.

I encourage all my friends, family and readers to take the NaNoWriMo challenge.  Nothing beats the rush of accomplishment when you sit down and write every day.  Also, the NaNoWriMo organization is always accepting donations to support the staff that takes such good care of us writers.  You can make a tax-deductible donation by visiting the NaNoWriMo Donation Station.

My thanks in advance to anyone who is willing to donate their hard-earned money to serve such a noble cause.

– Paul Scott

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2010 in Productivity

 

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