It’s a new year, so it’s time for what you would expect.
Of course, we all want to lose weight and exercise more in the coming months of 2011. But as writers, we need to add to that list.
One of my writing friends is fond of saying, “It’s time to put the butt in the chair.” Hopefully you’re not offended by the term used to describe our backside, but the course is clear for our No. 1 resolution of the year.
And that is to sit in the chair and write.
During the coming months, we will have many excuses why we won’t be sitting, from housework to day jobs to family issues to self-doubt about our writing. This will be the test of whether we are writers or just someone who just wants to be a writer.
Writing is damn hard. It takes discipline and sacrifice. We may work years on a book or screenplay and it may not sell to publishers or producers. We may be tempted to take our computer and dump it into the street. We may wonder if we are any good at writing, or whether we do have anything to say.
What can we do?
Put the butt in the chair.
There, we can build up the discipline we need to finish a project. We can learn what we are willing to sacrifice to tell our stories. If our book doesn’t sell, we can self-publish and get it out there. If our screenplay doesn’t wow Hollywood, we can shoot our own movies. We can improve our writing craft with instruction.
Writers do have something to say, which is why we write.
So in 2011, eat a few less calories, walk more steps, and put the butt in the chair.
Patricia Santos Marcantonio