Welcome guest blogger Bennet Pomerantz. He's here to talk about the drive for writing.
Someone once asked me at a writer’s convention, "How can you get all these writing projects in all those different places like you do?"
I told him "It’s like the old joke . . . How do you get to Carnegie Hall? . . . Practice, Practice, Practice!" It is the same with writing. You have to keep working with it. It never will just come easy. You need to enjoy your life . . . family, friends, whatever you love. However, you also need to write. Know this, the work won’t write itself. I will say this, do not worry about what writer’s market you can sell it at in the future . . . worry about finishing the work.
It does not matter what genre you write. You need to work daily at your craft. Learn to block out the time in your schedule. If you work a full time job, work at lunch, on coffee breaks and if you can train rides going to and from work (that is how Scott Turow wrote his first three books). Some writers will go by a daily word count, if it works for them . . . That’s FINE. I just work with no time limit, word count, etc. You need to do what you feel comfortable with. You also need to be inventive, try out new ideas . . . be creative and let your imagination fly in any direction you want it to be. You do not have to have an outline, you can explore the characters as you are writing. Don’t worry if it is perfect, nothing ever is the first time around. Do not also worry about where it may be printed or sold, just write it!
I remember when I had a bad case of writers’ block (yes, and it does happen to the best of writers . . . me included). I could not write my weekly newspaper column, and the words wouldn’t come out. I stepped away from the computer. I turned on the TV and watched a few episodes of the classic series the Wild Wild West on TBS. At that time, the TBS network was full of classic 1960-70 television shows like West, Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Saint, etc. They also use to have such shows in a three-hour blocks of programming. There was a Sherlock Holmes book on my shelf above the TV. A thought occurred me out of the blue . . . Sherlock Holmes in the West. From that basic concept idea, I wrote a short story entitled Night of the Shylock which I combined Wild Wild West TV show characters and Sherlock Holmes in a story. This novella did not happen overnight, it happened over three weeks period. This story appeared in the pages of Power Star Magazine and later in the Sherlock Holmes’ fan publication The Red Circle. This simple short tale even spawned a sequel, The Case of The Retired American Agent All of that from an exercise of imagination from a bad case of writers’ block!
Look, I love all genres. I have written in most of them. Just take a risk and have fun exploring. Research a subject and create a universe with characters you create. Try new ideas out, you never know when that story you start will branch out and grow into the next great American novel.
So when are you going to the writers’ Carnegie Hall. You know Practice, Practice, Practice!
Food for Thought
@Pen & Ink Inc.