Some time ago, back before this whole social distancing thing, I was somewhere. It’s been so long I don’t really remember but let’s say, for the story’s sake, that I was at a cocktail party. People in sparkly clothes–okay, women because the men were all in suits and stuff–stood around with drinks in their hands making small talk. Because we ALL know you can’t make big talk at one of those things. Me? I was standing there in my equivalent of a little black dress muttering bad words under my breath because my feet hurt (whoever invented heels should be shot, drawn, quartered, skewered with live bamboo growing up through their feet and YES! that can happen because I saw it on an episode of “Strange Evidence” on the Science Channel) when a woman asked, after we were introduced, “I’m in real estate. What do you do?” I smiled and stated that I write books. “Ah,” she said archly. “I’ve always thought I should write a book. I have a way with words but I just never found the time.” Yeah. Okay. That one ranks right up there with, “Oh! You write books? I have a great idea, you should write it for me.” Uh, no. Just…hell, no. What does this have to do with anything? Writing books, of course. Writing is not easy. Not everyone can do it. And not everyone can keep doing it for years. Some do it better than others. Some do it faster. Some take YEARS to write their masterpiece (lookin’ at you, George R.R. Martin, even though I’m not a fan). The thing is, to be a writer, you have to write. No matter how few words a day. You have to sit and put words to paper, or a computer screen. You have to tell a story. And, yes, I am talking about writing fiction here, because I don’t do nonfiction. Thing is, we can’t sit around waiting for inspiration to strike like a lightning bolt. It doesn’t work that way. It HELPS when it does but mostly, it’s sitting here staring at a blank page in whatever software we use and thinking up words to fill up the space. Sometimes, we get lazy and decide that the whole thing just isn’t worth the effort because our brains aren’t braining. Or it’s raining. Or the world is crazy. Or…excuses, excuses. Trust me. I have a whole book of the darn things. I’m to the point now that I have no excuse. Which is why the Universe gave me a Gibbs Slap™ in the form of this:
Don’t wait for those feelings of excitement, confidence, and clarity, Silver, before you take action.
Take action, and they’ll follow.
© http://www.tut.com ®
If you have to, Silver, just pretend. Make believe. Fake it. Right now, get up, walk outside, smile, wave, wink, and exude.
There’s all sorts of advice about waiting around for inspiration, including the favorite of romance writers delivered by LaNora* herself: You can fix anything but a blank page. So yeah, the Universe just threw down the gauntlet. Because writing romance is all about pretending and make believe. And if my imagination is on strike and that darn Iffy, my Muse from hell, is carrying a protest sign right beside that darn imagination, it IS time to fake until I make it. So, I got up, walked outside, smiled, waived, winked, and exuded all the inspiration that I don’t have. Now it’s time to sit down and write. I’m gonna get right on that, right after I recaffienate. What are y’all gonna sit down and do?
*aka Nora Roberts and/or J.D. Robb