It’s Always About “Time”

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I have always had admiration for professional writers (both writers of words and writers of music) since they have risked it all, trying to make a living, and subsequently getting to eat, by creating a finished product deemed valuable enough to pay for, by a deadline. Write more, eat more. Write less, well they could always visit my other blog, Exploding Potatoes, where there are some good tasting, economical dishes. The point is: writing is easy, until you have to do it by a deadline.

And the deadline can be self-imposed, too. Ever say something like “I’m going to write a short story every week!” I did. Then I ran across a blog where the author is trying to write a short story every day. He’s actually doing well, and the quality of his work seems to be consistently high. There’s a curve buster in every class, I guess. Most of us aren’t so talented. Kudos to you, sir!

So today is Wednesday and by my own proclamation, I need to post a short story on Friday. Last night, I sat down and said with true Marine determination “Okay, time to write.” And that I did…probably the worst story I have ever written. This isn’t modesty speaking, the story was awful. You’ll never see it.

I fell into one of the most common novice-writer traps there is – the old “I can write a great story about anything at any time…with one hand behind my back, using a quill and India ink even.” Uh…right.

Crafting a well written novel (or a symphony for that matter) takes time and a lot of effort, but the story concept, the melody of your book, will just flow when it is time. So many songs were written in just minutes, because it was the right time. The muse was there, as they sometimes say. Kinda like the old wine commercial…serve no short story before its’ time.

So this Friday, you will not be reading a sequel to Grandma’s Cooking. No, you will see something else, a story that just took about twenty minutes to write today at lunch. Will it win a Pulitzer? Of course not.

But it doesn’t suck. After all, it’s a story that was ready to be written.

See you Friday. Until then, keep writing…but only when the story says “It is time!”

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2 thoughts on “It’s Always About “Time”

  1. I need inspiration to write, something has to happen to put a thought into my head. I’d probably be useless having to write by a deadline.

    • Absolutely concur. I was sitting in traffic, next to a vending machine company van, when I noticed the driver looked like he was on his last leg of sanity. Thus tomorrow’s very short vignette was born.

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