So what’s your excuse?

One of my excuses has always been I don’t have time to write. Then I came across this blog entry from Elle Casey, in which she describes how she has written 18 books in 15 months. She must be a full-time writer, I guess – except no, she works 2 days a week as well. She must have found the secret of avoiding social media – but no, she has an active presence on facebook and on her own blog, and she takes promoting her own work seriously. No family? Sorry, husband and kids.

It can’t be any good, right? Not written at that speed. Sorry, wrong again. I knew within the first few lines of the first book of hers I read that she knows how to write and her books are well edited as well.

So what’s her secret? She reveals in her blog post how she does it. She admits it won’t work for anyone, but the fact is that it can be done. And a large part of that secret is just to sit and write.

Damn, that’s that excuse blown out of the water then. You can create high quality writing in high quantity without locking yourself away in a room away from everything. What other excuse can I use?

There’s the two-pronged excuse of … you know what? I’m not sure I can even put it into words any more. That double edged sword of not wanting to expose my writing to scrutiny, and not wanting to write if no-one will read it.

The best writing I’ve done has been to get stories that stick in my mind out into words. In a way, it hasn’t mattered whether they’ve had readers or not. Some have, some haven’t. A couple that I’ve put onto as I wrote them were never finished, as the impetus died away. Every one of them has taken my writing skill a little bit further, but only a little bit because I didn’t keep writing.

The trouble with publishing fanfiction like that is that it becomes like a drug: all the reviews you get encourage you to push out more and more, and then the quality can fall because you’re too interested in publishing and editing becomes an irritating delay.

I think it’s time to get back to when I first started writing fanfiction, when I would put down ideas onto paper just to see if they work out or not. It’s not lack of ideas that’s the problem: it’s actually going through the process of getting them down, fixing them into words. I have so many stories that come to me in a flash, and I can see the whole story arc, but just can’t be bothered to actually do anything about them. I’m sure that if I encouraged them I could quite easily put out large amounts of fiction. Sure, the quality would probably be poor, at least to start with, but it’s only by writing that we learn to write.

Half an hour a day maybe? How much can I write in that time? How much can I write and edit in that time? Only one way to find out. Then I suspect it’s like running: the more you do it, the more you feel like doing it, the more you notice the results and the better you become.



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  1. Wow. That woman is a machine! I sacrifice sleep to get through all my writerly things and feel exhausted just at the thought of all that needs to get done. I’m happy plodding along at my pace though, as long as I do something that works towards my writing each day, I feel like I’ve done something.

    Just stopping by from a-z. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by! No, I couldn’t do what she does but it’s good to know what’s possible.

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