Friday, October 30, 2015

Deciding to Write

Deciding to write is like deciding to go on a diet, or to stop smoking: first comes the initial declaration, and then the daily, even hourly, reaffirmation. 

Any one of those serial reaffirmations can be "No" instead of "Yes, I will." And just that simply, the process is derailed. Here's the difference. Dieters, non-smokers, they are marked by the continued reaffirmation.

Writers, on the other hand, do not become non-writers the moment they say "No."

You can be not-writing, but still be plotting, developing characters, planning plots twists and sequellizing clues. You can tell yourself you are doing something in that halo of activities that surrounds actually writing, actually putting words together to tell your story.

Sometimes it's fear that paralyzes the writing muscle. I find this happens to me when I've finished reading a really good book. How can I hope to produce something this good? It is a reasonable fear, and self-perpetuating, if it makes me stop writing.

So I plan to start writing at the stroke of midnight November 1st, to begin as I mean to go on for the writing month. I know that I will join a huge writing community as I do so, and among them are the authors of those awe-inspiring books that will one day make me fear again that I cannot hope to measure up.

I hope one of them will be mine. One of them might be yours, but only if you decide to write it.