Just do it!

Just do it!

That is the motto of a very famous footwear company which happens to make my favorite brand of shoe – but the idea isn’t new or even original. It’s basic. It’s fundamental. It’s the command we give ourselves when we have whittled things down to the simple truth of life and the pursuit thereof.

My ‘just do it” has to do with working on that novel and entering that contest and sending out that submission. I haven’t been just doing it – no, not at all. And frankly no matter what my excuse is and I’ve had plenty, I still feel like crap when I don’t just do it.

So here and now and before witnesses I promise I will just do it. I will just do the writing because it won’t do itself. I will just sit down and finish that story and enter that contest and be a writer. Instead of a working stiff, a dog mommy, a housekeeper, cook, errand runner and TV watcher.

No matter what your goals are as a writer, the only way to get where you want to go is to just do it. Make the time because life won’t make it for you. Your kids or husband or friends or family won’t excuse you so you can go write. The television will always have some movie or show you are dying to see but that’s what TiVo and recorders are for.

And while you may not reach your ultimate goal, you will get somewhere – eventually. If you just keep at it. Keep making notes and eavesdropping on interesting conversations at Starbucks and watching interesting characters at the local saloon and then rush home to write about them and it – you will get there. You will write and you will write and one day someone will read it and maybe lots of someones will read it and they will wonder where you and your stories have been all their lives.

If you don’t. If you nap instead. Or watch that rerun of Desperate Housewives or even opt for laundry, rather than that next chapter. No one will ever know what stories you had to tell.

So I hope you’ll sharpen your pencils, uncap your pencils and fire up your computers and just do it. I know I’m going to.

In fact I’m thinking I’ll be finishing another novel in the not too distant future. Fun, eh?

What about you? What is your next project? Are you putting it off or just doing it?

Writer Chick

Copyright 2012

Synopsize Me!

The bane of my existence of late has been the synopsis for my novel – or should I say the lack thereof? Yeah, probably. This is a puzzle for me, since generally speaking I haven’t much trouble writing anything. In my illustrious (or not so illustrious) career as a writer I have written menus, newletters, how-to articles, stock offerings, business plans, short stories, poems, novels, blurbs, ad copy, business letters and I guess pretty much anything else you can think of. Yet, this animal known as the synopsis stymies me. It sends me out to shop, pull weeds, clean baseboards, shampoo the dog, vacuum, even ironing. Anything so I don’t have to face the fact that I simply suck at these things.I’ve gone to countless websites, read countless how-to and advice articles on the thing, begged many of the writers I know for tips, tricks and advice and really to no avail. I do have one started. But you know it’s been started for quite a while now and despite constant watering and fertilization it hasn’t become a synopsis yet. Which probably means I’m actually going to have to do something about it, with it, around it.I have recently employed the help of a fellow writer and asked her to give me a deadline or something, to see if that actually helps. Well, she has given me the deadline, so she has held up her end of the bargain. And I’ve written it on a little piece of paper that I prop up against my monitor (and successfully ignore almost always), so I suppose I’ve begun to do my part. But…

Now, for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, a little background: A couple years ago, maybe longer, I wrote a murder mystery that was really quite a lot of fun to write. Then it sat, because…well, then there is that marketing thing that must be done. You’d think since I’ve done marketing for other people and was actually paid for it, that it’d be a snap for me to do some for myself – not so much. So, it sat some more. A few months ago I had a friend read the manuscript which sort of got me fired up again and again I was determined to do this synopsis and I did get started and about a 1/3 of the way through but then – clunk – stopped. The bitch of it is that I need the darn thing to interest agents and publishers in my novel. I can’t just send it to them with a note that says, please read. They just won’t go for that approach anymore. Too bad, but true.

So, here I sit, waiting for the synopsis faery to drop by and sprinkle some magic dust over my computer so I can wake up to a perfectly done and presentable synopsis. I am getting a little worried though, my last call to her wasn’t returned and time is zipping by.

So, now I’m going to do something that I probably shouldn’t – I’m going to tell you the deadline. That way, if you’re in a particularly naggy mood on that day you can rag my butt about whether or not it’s done. Or you can make fun of me because I am just a total synopsis slacker. Take your pick. The deadline is – June 5th of this year (damn it!). So synchronize your watches and get those water balloons ready. Otay?


Guest Post – sarah flanigan – Me & The Evil Muse

 My friend sarah flanigan is pinch-hitting for me today. Enjoy! WC

“I don’t care if they read. It’s not about that.” I lit a cigarette and continued typing.

Well, that’s ridiculous,” she sneered. “Of course you care. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t go to the trouble.”

I was onto the picture search and barely heard the nag rasping in my ear.

“Are you listening to me?” Even when she screamed it was barely a whisper. Really it wasn’t her talking that drove me up a wall but rather that sense of being poked in the forehead. That sense that something was obscuring my view of the screen.

“Uh huh.” I couldn’t find the right picture and I’d been to several sites looking already. It was going to be another long post. Damn! Amazing how finding a picture can hang you up. The post could take minutes (or hours) and then you spend the rest of the night looking for the picture.

“That one isn’t bad,” she said.

“I’m looking for right – not not bad. It has to be right.”

“Why?” she danced in and out of my peripheral vision. A flash of chiffon and feathers. “Who cares? Nobody reads anyway.” It always came back to the same taunt.

I typed in a different key word. Click. Pictures popped up. I scanned. Click. Next page. Click. Next page. “I’ve already told you it doesn’t matter if anyone reads. But of course somebody does. My stat counter says so.”

“Well, if they liked it – they’d say something, wouldn’t they?”

She was relentless, and doing everything she could to distract me. “Sometimes they say something.”

“But if they really liked it – it wouldn’t be sometimes, it would be all the time.” She bapped the side of my head. “You’re just not that good. You know it and so do I.”

Click. Up popped the perfect picture. “Oh yes,” I said. Copy. Paste. Click. Publish.

“So you admit it?” She was delerious. “You’re no good. You’re no good. Baby, you’re no good.” Did I mention she likes Linda Ronstadt?

“I’m fine. It’s fine. It’s all good. If they read then they do. If they don’t then they don’t.” I pulled a drag off my smoke. “I don’t do it for them. I do it for me.”

She rolled her green eyes.

“Scoff all you like,” I narrowed my eyes at her and dared her to speak. She said nothing. “Good, that’s more like it. You see, dear muse despite my pathetic life, my nowhere job and all the other things that can and do wrong – this is the one place that is all mine. I can do what I want, say what I want. Express my ideas and opinions. Even if no one is reading I still publish the thoughts.”

“Okay,” she backed off.

I sighed, relieved the dialogue was over for the time being.

“But if you were really good…some publisher……”

And then. My head exploded.

copyright 2006