Monday, August 25, 2008

Commitment to the Craft - Part 2

WANNA BE A WRITER - IT’S SIMPLE - AS MURDER

Wanna be a writer?
Sure.
It’s easy.
What do I have to do?
Nuthin much.

Really?

Yep, it’s insanely simple. All you hafta do is commit murder.

You’re insane - asking me to kill.

That’s right, all it takes is one simple act. If you want a career in writing, all ya hafta do is be willing ta commit murder.

Killing off characters? Is that what you’re talking about?

Nope, not at all, I’m not talking about killing off some weak character. This is gonna be much more difficult than that. Remember nuthin worth having is easy. This is gonna take guts. What I’m talking about, here, is setting priorities.

What?

You said you wanna be a writer.

Yeah, of course, but….

No buts ‘bout it. If you wanna be a writer, it’s simple. Write.

It’s not that easy.

What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you away from your keyboard right now?

Sit down and make a list (and if you’re honest with yourself) you’ll most likely see a pattern take shape. It’s something everyone does: we all waste time. Writers just need to remember: even the minutes matter. ‘Cause those ticks on the clock, they turn into hours and hours can be frittered away into days, weeks, even years. And where does all this time go? It’s spent on frivolous entertainment that has nothing to do with writing.

Think ‘bout it. How many hours per month do you spend watching television?

We all need to break dangerous addictions. Wean yourself off the daily regimen.

Remember, there’s a reason it’s been labeled the “boob tube”, “dummy box” and “opiate of the masses”.

Even if you say it’s only the late night news you watch, that’s still a half hour every day. Think about all the pages you could put together and print in three hours.

I didn’t realize how much time I was wasting sitting on the couch, propped up in front of that screen until I quit that bad habit: “cold turkey”. After dinner, instead of going into our “media room”, which is what the kids call our front room, I’ve decided to spend more time with my new-found friend: my laptop. Okay, if we’re being totally honest, really I lie down on the bed to relax before I start tapping away at the keys sitting in front of me.

Sometimes I don’t get much from my muse but, believe me, I’m putting more words on the page than I would have written if I’d been sitting out in the front room watching the latest sitcoms, shows or serials and someday I might even get those pages published. At least there’s more chance of seeing my name on a byline or my words in print if I’m spending my evenings writing than if I’m watching shows someone else wrote.

So, if you say ya wanna be a writer, then WRITE!

All ya hafta do is kill your T.V.!!!

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