Saturday, January 18, 2014

Do I Have To Write Every Day To Be A Writer?

   Over the last several weeks, I have seen more and more posts from writers complaining that they haven't been able to write every day. Some haven't been able to write anything since November or have tried to write but it's all garbage. They ask the question; 'What is wrong with me?' or 'Can you help me'. The underlying statement they are afraid to post is; 'I can't write every day so I feel like a failure'.
   Now I have nothing against NaNoWriMo, since it is a positive experience for many writers, but for some, it can be a nightmare. Maybe you just could not achieve the number of words required to win, so immediately the word "failure" comes into play. Maybe you did actually surpass your word goal, but have spent the last month trying to make sense out of the whole thing and have finally thrown up your hands in disgust. You ask yourself the question; "Am I a failure as a writer?"
   The simple answer, is no. We are all different. What works for some writers will not work for all. Some writers can generate a readable story in six weeks and some will take six years. They are both writers. A grandfather may write down his memories of war or experiences growing up to pass along to the next generations. He is a writer. A young parent will make up stories and write them down for their children. They are a writer. My grand-daughter has a closet full of spiral notebooks she has been writing in for ten years. Is she a writer? Of course she is.
   A writer writes, but a successful writer sells. Will my grand-daughter ever be a successful writer? Only time will tell. To reach that point, you not only have to write, but be willing to let others help you by providing feedback. Listen to comments from a critique group and others you have let read your work. Above all, edit and/or re-write based on those comments.
   Write what you can, when you can, and enjoy the experience. Be willing to let others help you and eventually you will be successful.

   If you can't write x number of words every day, are you a failure? Absolutely not! 

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