A Lesson Learned

Posted: March 24, 2014 in On Writing

I tend to be one of those people who writes something, maybe spends a small amount of time editing, sends it to some friends, and promptly moves on to the next thing.

That’s a great thing… if all you ever want is for your friends to read you. I’m starting to move past that though, have been submitting to more places, looking for more places to get paid for my writing, and in general working hard to turn in my amateur card.

I’m writing more, and more consistently. Not every day, to be sure, but writing all the same. I’m averaging about one short a week, and, this the good thing, expanding my audience. I’m not in a position to win any awards to be sure and definitely not ready to quit looking for  day job so I can focus on writing all of the time, but it’s moving along the continuum from “I write occassionally” to “I am a writer.”

If there’s any lesson I’ve carried away from almost a year of strong writing, it’s this: Finish Your Shit.

There’s nothing you can do with an unwritten manuscript. You can’t send it to an agent, you can’t send it to a publisher, you can’t self-publish it, you can’t give it away, you can’t even edit it. Finish. Hit a rough patch? Plow through. Have an idea for another piece? Jot it down on some paper and keep plowing away at what you are working on.

I’m not a believer in a muse. There’s no being separate from me, whispering in my ear, giving me ideas. I own what I write, good, bad, or even worse, indifferent and bland. I am a believer in BIC. Butt. In. Chair. I’m a believer in typing out words into sentences into paragraphs into stories. I believe in my ability to tell a story that entertains.

Want to get published? Want to publish? Finish. Don’t leave things hanging. You can’t rewrite what you haven’t written.

  1. mercutio01 says:

    I intuitively know this. It’s getting BIT that’s my problem, at least as far as prose is concerned.

    • Matthew X. Gomez says:

      I understand that. I think I recently referred to getting time to write requiring me to butcher-carve it out for myself.

  2. mercutio01 says:

    BIC iPad. That’s what I said, and it’s what I meant. Grr, autocorrect. Grr.

  3. J.C. Wolfe says:

    I know the feeling, Matt. It’s especially hard for me to finish some of my stories because I get so easily distracted. Of course, I also know how satisfying it is to finally finish a story, so I try to focus as much as I can. BIC can be difficult sometimes, but it’s definitely worth the effort! Good luck with all your writing! 🙂

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