As creative professionals living in a chaotic world, we can feel a lot of pressure to complete every project, accept every opportunity, and allow our personal and professional lives to cross over more than they should. Today, I’m telling you that I can’t do it all.
I learned the fundamental lesson that we cannot get our news from a single source, that we must, as readers and consumers of media, be willing to analyze the information we take in, to cross-reference it against credible sources, to do a little bit of the hard work ourselves.
Being a writer is romantic. It’s dramatic. It’s a great conversation starter at parties. Being a writer carries an air of mystery that doesn’t reveal just how many light nights you spent crouched over your edits or pacing around your bedroom looking for names, conflicts, titles or anything that might help you crack through your writer’s block. On paper, if you’ll pardon the pun, being a writer seems like a pretty easy gig.
Write drunk, edit sober. The reason for this is that writing is a hell of a lot easier than editing. You don’t need your wits about you to write. Writing is the easiest part of the whole process. You lay everything out on the table and then, later on, you can deal with all the issues.
Well, now it’s later on, and now I have to deal with the issues.
Plotters plot and pansters fly by the seat of their pants. I have done both in many genres of writing, including both fiction and nonfiction, and let me tell you–I will never be a pantser.
And sometimes, as much as it pains me to admit it, writing doesn’t always take the priority.
I’ve also written stories in some pretty unique and odd places, scribbled out conversations, speed-typed a strand of dialogue onto my phone while I was supposed to be paying attention Chemistry. My odd writing experiences have taken me a great many places, here are just a few of the weird and wonderful spots where I’ve stopped to jot down ideas.
Writer’s block was no longer a good enough reason not to write, but that didn’t mean I was suddenly cured of it. The deeper I got into writing, the more resources I found for managing my muses, so to speak. It wasn’t that I suddenly, magically, never got writer’s block again. I just knew the importance of finding ways to overcome that challenge.
Cities do not speak. Beaches do not dance. Mountain ranges do not dream. Places are not, intrinsically, human. The humanity we derive from them is based in our own perception, the sights, sounds and smells that form a location or environment in our mind.
There is no natural anthropomorphism to a place, and that is why it is so important that we put it there.
And now we’re onto 2020! I’m excited to read, write and do more in the new year and I want to approach my reading and writing goals with optimism and realism. Here are a few trips to making author and reader resolutions you may actually hit.