Reflections on Writing – Just Do It!


How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Have you ever felt as though finishing a book was a major and insurmountable task? How many times have you received that competition entry form, resolved to enter, yet have let everything slip by the closing date, again? I don’t know about you but this used to be an all too familiar theme in my world. Too often I was completely without a valid excuse for letting myself down. I am my own worst enemy. Are you yours?

The one thing that I have found to be totally effective against enemy invasion is to (and I quote a famous sports brand here) JUST DO IT! Yeah, sure, you really need to read that book (research? I’ve used that excuse to death and loved it – but it hasn’t helped me to achieve what I want), sure the kids need to be fed (life’s necessities? – get real, teach them how to microwave a pie. Really, once a week isn’t going to kill them and their future spouse/partner will be eternally grateful), sure you have to answer the phone (and talk, for how long?) – when you’re writing and if you don’t have an answering machine, treat every call like a business call, 10 minutes tops! (stop laughing – you CAN do it!).

If you really want writing to be your business, you have to treat it honestly. The honest part starts with you. You want to write (so do I!). Simple answer, write. You want to finish a book. Simple answer, finish it.

Reality check, what do you need to do, or change, in your life or your thinking, to hurdle the barriers you have erected that prevent you from achieving what you want with your writing?

I’ve always told myself I need silence, total silence, to write effectively. Basically I was signing my own writing death warrant. For heaven’s sake! I live in a house with two teenage daughters and a husband who thinks Jethro Tull is God’s gift to the music world (save me!) Silence is not an option. I have only now learned to work in noise. Yes, it was difficult. Yes, I argued with myself all the way. But guess what? I can sit and write (okay, I’ll admit it, I haven’t quite conquered the JT background caterwauling) but bit by bit, word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph… it’s all coming together again. I’m writing after what feels like forever. Okay, so I’ll worry about continuity another time… but seriously, all I can say to anyone who isn’t reaching their heart’s desire with their writing is to JUST DO IT. One bite at a time.