I just read a great blog post about writing by Patti Digh. It’s funny, thought-provoking, and painfully honest and true. Writers spend a great deal of time making excuses about why they’re not writing, or not published, or not – something. She makes it seem so easy – just sit down, shut up, and write.
You can read the entire post here, but these bits caught my attention:
What is your intention? To build a successful blog, or to actually say what is inside of your heart and mind and every single bloody cell of your being, and that you must somehow export it out into the world before you die? Much writing I read these days is to sell something by a formula. Is that your highest purpose? Is that the voice that is dying to be let free into the world? If it is, great, that’s fantastic! If not, stop it. Stop it. Sit with yourself and your unique place in the world and write it all down. Write it all down. Speak your voice. So many people say they need to find their voice. You have a voice, now use it, damn it. In the writing comes the thread. In the writing comes your unique voice, your way, your sense-making of the world around you. Can’t say what you want because people won’t understand or like it? Who are you living for? Yourself or people with wallets? Yourself or applause? Yourself or validation?
The writing is everything. Not the publishing. Not the work-shopping. Not the agent-shopping. Not the Amazon sales rank. Not the deciding who will play you in the movie (Meryl Streep, of course, for 90% of us, what with the accents and all). No, just the writing. The unsexy part. The part where blood drips from your forehead and you imagine yourself far more precious and special than you are.
Write your heart out. Put it out into the world (or not) and then write more. Don’t stop to head up your own Parade. Just write. Write like you are dying. You are.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go write something.