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Writing Enemies

July 22, 2009

>Yes, writers have enemies. Our most formidable foe is ourselves. We run from our work like children from daily chores. Any excuse is acceptable if it relieves us of the duty that writing brings to us each and every day.

Idiocy, if you think about it. What do most all writers claim? “I LOVE to write.” Yet we avoid doing it with distractions apparent and subtle. We play Spider Solitaire or War Craft. We decide the hedges we loathed trimming are now our most important priority.

Why? Why can’t we simply sit down and do that which we know we love? I believe this fundamental question is what separates the Wannabe writers from the Gonnabe’s and I Am’s. I’m writing a paper called Wannabe’s, Gonnabe’s and I Am’s.

Wannabe’s talk about writing. They have great ideas for that blockbuster novel, the one that will sell millions of copies and land them on Oprah. They dog writers groups and established writers looking for that magic formula that will translate their words into gold. There’s a home run waiting on them if they just swing that bat hard and true enough.

What Wannabe’s don’t know and often never get past is the fact that they are the PITCHER not the batter. Nothing happens, no ball gets put into play until they throw out that first pitch. Without a product, the Wannabe is going to die on the vine.

Let’s not be too hard on the Wannabe though. All writers were Wannabe’s at one time in their life. It’s a stage that must be traversed. A writer must listen and learn and transition from the Wannabe stage into a Gonnabe.

The Gonnabe is a writer who actually begins to get it. This writer starts to get serious and sits down and puts words to paper (or electrons to screen). This writer still doesn’t know quite what is involved, necessarily, but he/she pushes on, hopefully with a clear cut goal in sight.

It’s critical that the Gonnabe completes a book. Too often the Gonnabe bogs down and switches to another “great idea” because the one being worked on has fizzled. Often, the Gonnabe deserts a project that is very close to a completed manuscript. In any case, it is a heck of a lot closer to complete than beginning from scratch.

The Gonnabe has to pursue writing with a more rabid mentality. The Gonnabe has to establish a “hell or high water” approach to completing projects. How the Gonnabe achieves this is not so important as simply attaining a draft manuscript. THEN, the Gonnabe has to weather the fact that he/she must go through many revisions, edits and rewrites to tighten up the original work.

This process, if approached from the right mindset, is very rewarding. As the Gonnabe works and works and works the manuscript, it becomes a living entity no longer needing life to be breathed into it by the writer’s hands. Often, the Gonnabe gets sick and totally disgusted with the manuscript and just wants to move on to the next project. Here is where the Gonnabe must stick it out and polish the manuscript to its greatest potential.

Once that is completed, the opportunity presents itself for the Gonnabe to realize the transition to I am. I am is a tenuous pinnacle. It is far to easy to slide back into that Gonnabe stage where many projects make him/her feel like they are progressing but actually they’ve become stagnant. Or worse, the slide can go all the way back to Wannabe where all they are doing is talking writing.

I am is defined by confidence and a writing regimen of some sort. Without consistent writing in some way, shape or form, the I am is doomed to slip back. One advantage the I Am has over the other two is the knowledge that they were once there and can get back again.

I’ve run this gauntlet and I’m ready to get back to that point where I am producing once again. I slipped back to Wannabe for a while. I let the excuses build – I’m working so hard on Toastmasters, Publishing, running two other businesses in addition to working, taking care of four children, leading two writers’ groups, chair a board of deacons at church and actually paying attention to the woman I love.

A near death experience (very, very near death) catapulted me to pursuing my writing dream. Michael Jackson’s untimely death is another moment to contemplate. Forget whether we like him or loath him, he was my age. MY AGE. We were born the same year. He is dead. I have not achieved what I desire to accomplish in the writing world.

Therefore, I must pick myself up from my Wannabe ass, kick it into a Gonnabe gear so that once again I can realize I AM AN AUTHOR! The great writers get here and stay here, at least from my perspective. Once a writer defeats himself (his own worst enemy), he then has the opportunity to do great things. This is my rant, and you have heard me!

DarkThorn

www.michaelrayking.com

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 25, 2009 2:21 am

    >Weird, your latest posts are not showing up on my Dashboard's reading list. Just happened to notice them when looking for that counter widget. Did you type this post while wearing a single glove? ;o)

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