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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Writers Write

Writers write. We write because we like it. We write because we have something to say. We write to express beauty, pain, fear, anxiety, frustration, confusion, emotion. 

We write as an extension or a condition of our being alive.

It is really as simple and as complicated as that.

Why then do we sit around and say we are not writers, until our names are on by lines or massive six figure contracts, until other people say it about us?

What have we been waiting for? What then have we considered ourselves to be all of this time?

This is why yesterday I typed that line about writing being art or writers being artists however I worded it.

Maybe the words writer or author are too specific. Is a doodler an artist? 

If we never finish a work, be it a poem or a paragraph, much less a short story or a novel, can we call ourselves accomplished at anything related to writing?

These questions are semi rhetorical. I present them to you because when we confront ourselves with new questions new thoughts arrive.

Today’s tip for great writers is one word: PRACTICE.

Not just because doing something right over and over again leads to perfection in an area.

Rather simply because writers, write.

If all you are doing is thinking about it or planning to, you are not writing. 

This is not about word counts or some number.

This is about that cramp in your fingers as your head is full of stuff that you are churning out as fast as you can.

It is about writing something, that when you read it over it makes you catch your breath anew, like you have never seen it before. 

This is about the ease and the flow that comes on us writers sometimes. It is about building a familiarity with the craft. 

There are those things we do regularly, so often that we can take them for granted. Yet on certain days, at certain times, there seems to come a hum or silver lining over and through them.

We want to add writing to the list of those things. It should not just be for special occasions or emergencies.

There should be an ease about our writing that comes with regularity.

Does this include a ritual for you? 

Do you roll up your sleeves, sit in the special room in the certain chair? 
Is it about getting away and out of the house?

To the porch or in the attic? Do you have a nook? 

Is it after midnight when you muse and release?

Writers write, they practice the craft, they keep note books and pads of paper handy. They jot down ideas.

A fellow blogger mentioned she has documents full of fluff and filler writing that got edited off and out of posts which made it onto her live blog. 


I thought everybody did that. I know I do. I reason; film makers cut film.

Actors are well aware that their best scenes, sometimes the only scene they are in could end up on the cutting room floor.

Writing is art. Art is messy. Artists create in the excess.

What would you see if you went to a bakery and looked in the back of the shop? 

If you go to a place where they make pottery will you see wet clay chunks and random muck?

For every finished product there is the left over, the mess, and usually a few extra things that were not that product, laying around.
Can you look at your life and say, 

"Yes, I practice writing. There are bits and pieces of things I was thinking and imagining in print somewhere around my space.” ?


  1. Nice post. And so true, just write, write, write and revise.

    1. Thank you. Yes. We need to do what it is that we do. hahahaha

  2. This is very helpful. Part of my struggle is that I write so many different things, from fiction to non-fiction, from poetry to prose, I am all over the place. It all feeds the practice, but sometimes the fiction is the most difficult. I will continue to practice, because after all I am a writer. And writers write.

    1. I can imagine how fiction would be the most tricky. Still it is great to know you are freely experimenting. I love that! Rock on.

  3. Great post. I call bloggers writers b/c we are. And yep, it seems like some work is wasted in that it's not published or recognized, but it's value lies in the practice, the honing of the craft. Love this!

    1. I agree bloggers are writers. And yes the work is beautiful and valuable.

  4. I can't remember where I heard this, but it stuck with me...some author said to an aspiring author who said "I want to be a writer" something like (I'm totally paraphrasing here)"Do you want to be A WRITER, or do you want TO WRITE? If you want to write, you can't help yourself, you just DO. You may or may not become what other people consider a writer" I love that. If anyone knows the right quote and author, please correct me!

    1. I like that but I have not heard it said quite like that before. This series of posts is linked in each post to Jeff Goings web site and his series where he tells people we are writers if we have written anything or if we can believe it and begin. It has been very affirming to read his work.

  5. Good advice. All that writing adds up. The different types of writing exercise different writing muscles and makes the writer stronger in many ways.

    Tossing It Out

    1. I am reminded of my English classes and even the prompt that came through on my G+ this morning to write a Haiku.

      The writer stretch. Poetry, prose, fiction, non fiction, short, long, public, private, by hand, online.

      Working it out! Beautiful.