Don’t Stop Writing

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Hey, you. Yes, you—the one with the ink-stained dreams and itchy fingers. I have a message for you from the future: don't stop writing.

The One Difference Between Writers and Non-Writers: Writers Write

The future also wants to talk about a few scary things today. You have been warned.

Don't Stop Writing Even Though It's Hard

Rejection.

Failure.

Terrible first drafts.

I know you fear those things. Every writer does for good reason. They happen.

The future apologizes, but here's the ugly reality: no matter how good you are, you're still going to be rejected. You're going to lose writing contests. You will fail to write some stories the way you want.

Still, don't stop writing.

I know your writing isn't what you want it to be. I know the words coming out of you right now can liquefy your brain with their very crappiness.  I know you feel like you'll never be good enough to be a writer, and the future seems bleak.

Still, don't stop writing.

The future won't lie: some people won't “get” what you're writing, no matter how good you are. Someday, when you're published, those people will even give you bad reviews.

Even worse, here in the present, you probably see your writing as hideous, pale, and suspiciously wrinkly—kind of like any pictures of humans taken when standing under one of these:

I know. Ugly.

Still, don't stop writing.

Writers Write

The difference is not that writers write well.

The difference is not that writers somehow produce Mozartian masterpieces with little effort, no doubts, and to great applause from all their loved ones who totally see what they're doing and never ask, “But how will you pay your bills?”

Ahem.

The difference is that writers write.

Writing is going to be harder than you thought. It's harder than all of us thought.

Still, don't stop writing.

Learning to write well will take longer than you hoped. (I'm marginally readable now, but that took years. You will never see the first manuscript I tried to publish. There isn't enough wine in the world to handle that one.)

It's simple: non-writers hope and dream, but do not actually write—and therefore, they never get better. Writers write, stumbling and messing up and struggling through self-doubt—and therefore, they DO get better.

Let's make a chart:

Keep Writing

I know it's hard.

I know you're scared.

I know what you're writing isn't good enough yet.

Still: Don't stop writing. Fight your fears. Struggle past your weaknesses. It will be worth it in the end.

The future wouldn't lie.

Do you struggle with writing perfectionism? Let me know in the comments section.

PRACTICE

Today, I want you to sit down and tackle your work in progress no matter what your fears say. Write for fifteen minutes and share the results in the comments. Don't forget to encourage your fellow writers.

We all face the same fears and struggles. We're also stronger together. Let's do this thing!

Best-Selling author Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and was keynote speaker for The Write Practice 2021 Spring Retreat.

Author of two series with five books and fifty short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom, using up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon.

When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away.

P.S. Red is still her favorite color.

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65 Comments

  1. themagicviolinist

    This is exactly what I needed to hear today, so thank you! 🙂 I hope it inspires everyone else who reads it, too. I’ve been hesitant to work on my poetry again because nothing I’ve written has felt right, but I’m hoping to keep improving. Here’s one I wrote most recently:

    We Don’t Live In Cages

    There was an angel caught in the power lines.
    And she was beautiful, despite what the others thought.
    Tragic, they whispered.
    Free, I said.
    She was beautiful because of her crumpled wings,
    battered face,
    bloodied limbs.
    She was free because nobody had told her that she hadn’t ever
    lived in a cage.
    And she was only tragic to the others because nobody had seen
    the scars before she’d put them there.
    They were underneath,
    but sometimes people can only see the display.
    To her, the freedom was bliss.
    But she’ll never know if not fighting was worth it.
    There was an angel caught in the power lines,
    but it felt as if the power lines were wrapped around me.

    Reply
    • Renee'

      I love your writing. This is beautiful, touching and raw.
      Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
    • Jerri Miller

      I enjoyed this very much. My favorite line was “sometimes people can only see the display.” So true! ~ Jerralea

      Reply
    • Wendy Pearson

      Loved the poem! Sounds like the day I’ve had. Caught in the wires. 🙂 You write beautiful poetry…do keep it up.

      Reply
    • EndlessExposition

      This is great! I love the image created by the first line. The extended metaphor running through poem is really unique, and unique is harder to do than good (though you’ve managed both). My one suggestion would be to find places where you can remove connector words like “and” and “because”, and see how that changes the flow of the piece.

      Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      I am DELIGHTED to know this encouraged you! I’ve always loved your posts, so this is an extra joy.

      Your poem really spoke to me. Incredibly powerful; I have lived that more than once. To see the beauty in the dark, in the battle and the blood, is a crucial and precious gift.

      Reply
  2. Renee'

    Thank you for this post. My New Year’s Resolution was to keep writing and write more. I started out well and have started to flounder. My poetry doesn’t seem to paint pictures as well as it use to, but I won’t give up.

    “Diamonds in the Rough”

    Wealth is measured in many ways
    One has a restricted mind, but a heart of gold
    Two wears his heart on his sleeve and a chip on his shoulder
    Three will eternally see the world more youthful than her
    years, a badge worn since birth
    None are flawless gems,
    but all are
    my life’s
    treasures

    Reply
    • EndlessExposition

      Maybe you should try writing poems about tangible subjects and focus on sensory description. It’s easier to talk about something that’s right in front of you. Then you can apply what you’ve learned from that practice to more abstract concepts, and look for parallels between the metaphors you would use, for example, to talk about a walk in the woods and the ones you would use to talk about love. It might help paint more vivid pictures. Best of luck!

      Reply
      • Renee'

        Thanks for the feedback. I’ll give that a try and see it where it leads me.

        Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      I think a lot of people struggle with keeping up New Year’s Resolutions by about this time (I certainly do). It’s never too late to keep trying, though. 🙂 Make March 1st your own person New Year to try again! I loved your poem. The comparisons to treasure was particularly interesting.

      Reply
    • Maggie Merrill

      Thank you for this. I don’t know what your life setting is, but it sounds like a loving description
      of your children, or members of your family……….maybe your friends. I really like the way you put it altogether because I have some similar life treasures and it speaks to my heart.
      Really good.

      Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Renee, I’m so delighted to hear you won’t give up. Your poem is beautiful, too; it sounds like you’ve been through a lot to come to these understandings.

      Reply
  3. Beth Schmelzer

    “I know the words coming out of you right now can liquefy your brain with their very crappiness.” Ruthanne, your imagery is perfect. And you are encouraging and uplifting. Thanks for this post. Reading all the craft books and following prompts are not enough as you so aptly remind us.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      I’m so glad to hear it, Beth! 🙂 Keep writing and fight back those fears!

      Reply
  4. Drew Forrester

    Freed from the need to have a ‘regular’ job I decided to indulge my ambition to write. I had always dabbled, I had completed a couple of books, but I was scared of rejection and all the things listed both by Joe and others. I started to refer to myself as ‘a writer’ in company, then somebody said to me ‘Can you call yourself a writer, if there’s nothing for people to read?’ Good question. So I had one of my books edited and went for it and published it on Amazon. Since I did, I have managed to leave aside some of those earlier fears. I see my claim to being a writer as being legitimate. My first book may not be the best, but it’s out there. Now I feel entitled to hone my craft without the paranoia of worrying about the first book As Joe said, writers write, but we need to be read as well! At some stage we have to slide off that fence and dip out toes into the water.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Drew, that’s great! I’m so glad that these steps were the right ones for you. You’re absolutely right: we need to just get in it and do it. For many of us, the publication part comes later, but as long as we’re reading more and writing more, that’s what matters. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Reply
  5. Sean O'Neill

    This is very encouraging. I totally agree – real writers have a compulsion to write and that’s what keeps them writing! Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      You’re welcome, Sean! I’m really glad it encouraged you. 🙂 I knew I wasn’t going to be the only writer struggling with this!

      Reply
  6. M.FlynnFollen

    Here is a piece of a story I have been working on. It totally needs some love but your article inspired me. Thank you.

    It was a warm fall night and Michael left his window open by his bed. He watched from his bed as the moonlit white shear curtain covering the window sweep in and out. His eye lids grew began to submit, he felt the slightly crisp cool breeze on his under his toes that were peeking out from under the blanket. The air, as if breath, entered and exited the room and little Michael drifted off into the dream world.

    He was back on the peak of that tall mountain. It was dark grey and he was alone but he didn’t feel that way. As he looked off of the mountain to the streetlights and illuminated houses in the distance the wind picked up from behind him. It blew steady and begin to pick up strength. He felt as though it embraced him. He began to feel as light as light as a feather. The wind introduced him to flight. He flew forward, up and raced down. Scraped clouds and grazed tree tops. The wind drowned his thoughts and he was free. He flew so close over the sea cause ripples. He flew by trees and picked their seeds to spread some around the earth to help new saplings spread. He was the wind. He put himself beneath the wings of gulls and gentle pushed them higher. He brought them to their next meal and back to home nest to feed their young. He pushed rain clouds over dry spells. He spread his power.

    He played the wind for the night. He woke early to the Sun peering over the mountains and a cool breeze entered through the window and blew through his bedhead. He has realized his next recipient. It was as if the wind blew out and caught his attention in the dream world.

    Reply
    • Keywest bird

      You’ve caught me. Recipient of what? More!

      Reply
    • EndlessExposition

      This is great! The descriptions especially are very vivid. It does need some editing for correct tenses and syntax, but I’d worry about that at a later date. Getting your ideas on paper is the most important thing in the beginning.

      Reply
    • 709writer

      This is a great piece; I like the “he was alone but he didn’t feel that way.” Very creative!

      Reply
    • themagicviolinist

      I really liked this scene! My favorite lines were, “He flew forward, up and raced down. Scraped clouds and grazed tree tops.” It’s simple, but the rhythm really worked for me.

      Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      I’m so glad it inspired you! ALL our stories need some love, believe me. 🙂

      I love this little scene! It seems like the opening to something very magical. How old is he supposed to be? I couldn’t quite pick that up from the context; he’s referred to as “little,” but words like “spread his power” and “recipient” don’t feel quite write for a child. 🙂

      I’d love to see you develop this. Do you know where it’s going? It certainly felt full of meaning! And more importantly, it made me want to fly.

      Reply
  7. Rag Mars

    Am I a Businessperson selling Text – or am I an Artist creating Fascination…
    Raymond Chandler wanted to be both and sold his stories under their artistic value. What would
    he do today…

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      An excellent question! It’s always hard to figure out how we’re defined, especially since the medium and means keep changing. I try to focus on telling my stories, and then just adjusting the other two accordingly.

      Reply
  8. Sejalb Sejal Bavishi

    Hey Ruthane,
    Thank you for your note, I subscribed for writepractice long ago. But I used to always by-pass your emails. I ashamed I did that! But when I read this article I wonder why I ignored the emails? If atleast one of these would I have opened and looked into, I would’ve known what was I missing.
    But never too late. Thanks for such an encouraging article tonight, this means a lot.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      I’m so glad this helped you, Sejalb! It sounds like you opened it at just the right time. 🙂 I’m thrilled it helped you, and I hope you’re inspired to keep writing no matter what this world throws at you.

      Reply
  9. Hindra Saputra

    Thank you for this encouraging post and yes, I keep compare my story with other amateur writers and I feel my story is cliche and it sucks. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I already read tons of writing guidance books, following every single step and still it’s a mess but hey, today’s post is right so I’m going back to my scene lists and try to look at it again. Thx.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Hindra, I struggle with doing that, too. We ALL start out that way; in fact, Neil Gaiman said it really well: “The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that’s not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people.”

      We learn by copying, then by figuring out our own style. Don’t panic about anything seeming cliche; you’ll get there if you keep reading and writing and don’t stop. It just takes time (in my case, years)!

      Reply
  10. Shauna Bolton

    I think it is self-evident that writers write, just as painters paint, dancers dance, etc. That said, people talk about sitting down everyday and blowing out 1000+ words as if that guarantees success. It’s a productive thing to do, and I don’t dismiss its importance. But actual writing is not the only thing we do, and sometimes it seems unproductive to me because I haven’t done the groundwork yet. Maybe it’s just a matter of style since, as you can tell, I’m a planner. I did NANOWRIMO last year on a whim. I had no plans of any kind for plot, characters, setting, etc. Just an idea that seemed interesting to me. So, I just sat down and wrote. Needless to say, I didn’t make it far on my novel. Since January 2017, I have gotten serious about my writing. I have purchased software, which I’m now learning to use; I’ve reorganized my files so that all my writing is in one place; and I’ve sorted everything by story, resources, prompts, and techniques so that it’s now much easier to find. I’m working on a new short story, but I haven’t written a word of it because I’m working methodically on research, creating characters, planning scenes, developing settings–all the things required for a quality piece of work. I’ve found I’m much more productive and produce better quality work when I do the proper planning first. I’m not against those who do the writing journal everyday, and I’d like to be more consistent with it myself. My available time, however, forces me to choose–daily freewriting that may or may not go anywhere or focused work on creating a story that I can write up very quickly because all the decisions are made. That’s my two cents, and it’s worth exactly what you all paid for it. SB

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Hi, Shauna! There are far too many folks who just read about it and dream about it and don’t actually do it because it’s scary and hard. 🙂 I actually don’t believe in writing every day http://ruthannereid.com/lose-the-guilt/

      What I do believe is that writing is like playing piano, singing, painting, etc. If all you do is read about them, you will not be able to do them – it’s that simple. Planning and study are absolutely essential, but practice is even more so. As long as it’s balanced, we can become better writers.

      I love your plan and schedule. That kind of organization is just fantastic, and will definitely speed you along. I think it’s just essential for all of us writers to put all that stuff into practice regularly – even if it’s not “the” novel in question – or when writing-time comes, we may find those muscles out of shape.

      I think you can do this, Shauna. I remember you in Becoming Writer, and I’m really delighted to see you taking your writing seriously. You definitely have the talent. Don’t quit, no matter what!

      Reply
  11. Ariel Benjamin

    Thank you! So on time

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      You’re so welcome, Ariel! I hope it helps you to keep writing! 🙂

      Reply
  12. Sara Foust

    I LOVE this article. Perfectly fitting for what I needed to hear today. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Sara, that’s great news!!! Take it to heart and keep writing! 🙂

      Reply
  13. Wendy Pearson

    What a simple but oh so powerful message. You must have been reading all our minds today. We’re all struggling with our WIPs. Me? I’m trying to give my 89,000 word and counting Mystery/Thriller a satisfying ending. And have put aside my first novel. There’s so much editing to do! Also, restructuring it. It’s taken me this long to even know what I really want to say. Ugh. But hey, it’s my first novel. If I can salvage it, I will. Reading it now over a year later, it’s like someone else wrote the thing. At the very least…it was great practice. I’ve learned so much but apparently not enough…and it continues. But I never do stop writing. So, thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      *HUG* We all need never-ending practice! 🙂 Nobody ever ‘arrives;’ but we certainly can improve. I’m just thrilled this was so timely for us both!

      I also believe you can salvage it – if not now, soon. Keep writing and don’t give up!

      Reply
  14. Kristin Rivers

    A very encouraging article Ruthanne!

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Deeply glad it encouraged you, Kristin!

      Reply
  15. EndlessExposition

    It’s my habit when I’m working on a story to write the beginning and the end and fill in the rest from there. I posted the opening scene that goes with this closing here https://thewritepractice.com/character-development-questions/ if you want to check it out. Reviews are always appreciated!

    On the last night of March, the sky was empty of clouds. A slight damp hung in trees, promising a green spring to come. I had already knocked, and while I waited for Alicia to come to the door, I stood on the stoop and looked up at the stars. I didn’t realize how much I had missed them in Boston until I could see Orion’s belt again.

    Alicia’s apartment was on the first floor of a Victorian house that had been converted into multiple residences. I was considering knocking again when I heard footsteps approaching from inside. The door opened. I blinked. Alicia smiled with amusement at my surprise. Bare feet poked out from under the tattered cuffs of her jeans. A worn flannel hung loosely over a faded Sex Pistols t-shirt. “Much as I love my Armani, it’s for work only.”

    “Sorry,” I grinned sheepishly. “You just – you actually look your age. It’s a bit weird.”

    “Can I get that in writing to show my mother? She thinks now that I’m past thirty I should swap out my wardrobe for chinos and turtlenecks.”

    “I definitely can’t see you in a turtleneck.”

    “With luck you never will, I look like the long lost lovechild of Benedict Cumberbatch and Carl Sagan. Come in.”

    The apartment was decorated in a contemporary style, the walls painted in respectable neutrals like celadon and cream. The furniture was sleek and functional. Most likely it was pre-furnished, but I could see where Alicia had added personalized touches. A black shag rug under the coffee table. Framed photography on the walls. I trailed after her into the kitchen and sniffed. “What is that?”

    “Chiles rellenos.”

    “Chilly what now?”

    “Stuffed peppers,” she explained as she bustled around the stovetop, “battered in eggs and fried.”

    I started poking around in drawers for silverware and napkins. “You didn’t have to go to so much trouble.”

    She shrugged. “No trouble. I like to cook.”

    A few moments later the kitchen island was set, we were settled in, and I was discovering the magic of New Mexican cuisine. “So – you cook, you play guitar, you solve crimes. Is there anything you can’t do?”

    “Plenty of things.”

    “Like what?”

    She cocked her head in thought. “I never did learn to swim.”

    I set my fork on the plate. “Alicia. You’re how old?”

    “I grew up in the desert! There weren’t exactly abundant opportunities to practice.”

    “They don’t have indoor pools in Santa Fe?” Alicia was suddenly very intent on her cabernet. “You’re scared of water.” Her cheeks reddened; I had to laugh and put my hand over her free one. “Don’t be embarrassed, everyone’s afraid of something.”

    “And what is the woman who singlehandedly saved me from a serial killer afraid of?”

    “I’m terrified of clowns.”

    Alicia’s lips twitched. “Really? Clowns?”

    “My mother took me to the circus when I was four, and this creepy, silent clown was dancing around me in a circle and honking his nose. I was so scared I peed myself. Stop laughing, I was traumatized. And Mom wonders why I’m in therapy.”

    Alicia shook her head, still chuckling. “What does your therapist make of this phobia of men in polka dot pants?”

    “You know what –” I tried my best to sound irritated, but I was smiling in spite of myself. “You’re so annoying.” At that point we both noticed that I was still holding her hand. Alicia put her glass down.

    “This seems like as good a time as any to have that conversation we said we were going to have once the case was closed.”

    “Agreed.”

    “Alex – what exactly are we?”

    A dozen answers lighted on my tongue before flitting away again, none of them seeming quite right. “I’m going to try to answer that, in a roundabout way. It’s been over a year now since I tried to kill myself. I’m on my fourth therapist. A lot of people I met early on in recovery told me that at some point in their treatment they had a ‘breakthrough session’, a moment of epiphany in their therapy that started their process of coming back to the world. I haven’t had that moment, but to tell the truth I haven’t been trying very hard. I convinced myself a long time ago that the reason I have depression is because I’m broken and incapable of connection. Now that I’ve met you I know that’s not true. So if I’m not broken, then that means I can get better. And I want to. I want to find out what a life with happiness in it looks like, and I want you to be there. I don’t know what we are. But I know that I want to hear you play guitar, and talk to you about absolutely everything, and kiss you some more – point being. If it’s okay with you, I’m fine with putting labels aside for now, and just being us.”

    With hindsight on my side, it’s tempting to poeticize that moment. My literary instincts want to write that I looked into those dark eyes and saw the rest of my life, years of perfect nights like this one stretching into infinity. But I’m a pathologist, not a psychic. All I saw was Alicia’s smile as she turned her hand in mine to lace our fingers together. “Alright,” she said. And it was.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      This feels like a sweet ending to an intense story! You’ve got terrific flow, and the pacing works pretty well for me!

      One thing that threw me slightly was this:

      ——–
      “They don’t have indoor pools in Santa Fe?” Alicia was suddenly very intent on her cabernet. “You’re scared of water.” Her cheeks reddened; I had to laugh and put my hand over her free one. “Don’t be embarrassed, everyone’s afraid of something.”
      ——–

      Since a new paragraph is supposed to indicate a switch of primary character (who’s acting, speaking, etc.), this would read better like this:

      ——–
      “They don’t have indoor pools in Santa Fe?”

      Alicia was suddenly very intent on her cabernet.

      “You’re scared of water.”

      Her cheeks reddened.

      I had to laugh and put my hand over her free one. “Don’t be embarrassed, everyone’s afraid of something.”
      ——–

      It still needs a little work, but this way, it won’t confuse readers, who expect the same person to be acting and speaking in a paragraph. 🙂 I saw the same trends with the opening submission on Jeff’s piece – great flow, natural conversation, a very solid characterization setup – but then this threw me:

      ——–
      Dr. Abbott scribbled a line in the notebook again. Probably that I was spouting bullshit. I’d always wanted to sneak a peek into a therapist’s notebook. Did they doodle in the margins? Did they secretly give all their clients rude nicknames? “Are your parents calling you less then?”
      ——–

      Grammatically, since there’s a big space between “Dr. Abbot scribbled” and “Are your parents calling,” it’s indicating Alex asked that question. 🙂 Slipping in a paragraph break would fix it.

      I hope that helps. You’re on a great path here; I think this story feels like it will fit really well in the thriller category (guessing from context, of course). Keep writing, and thanks for the chance to read your stuff!

      Reply
  16. Random Chaos

    Thank you for this. I just posted my story. I was hoping to get feedback, but no ones even looked at it. Which is discouraging to say the lest.
    But I really want to be a writer, and even through I’m dyslexia I think I can be.

    Reply
    • Autumn Speckhardt

      Hello, I’m an editor, and I just wanted to say that you should not let dyslexia stop you. You are absolutely right that you can be a writer! I have worked with some people who struggle with dyslexia, and they have some of the most interesting stories to tell. So don’t ever let it stand in your way!

      Reply
      • Random Chaos

        Thanks. Challenges are just something to write about. So dyslexia maybe annoying but it’s overcoming challenges that makes life worth while.

        Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Hi, Random! I’m dyslexic, too – you’re in good company here. If I can do this, so can you. Don’t give up.

      (Where did you post? I can take a look at it for you!)

      Reply
  17. Autumn Speckhardt

    This is very motivating and inspiring! Sometimes sitting in front of a blank Word document can feel daunting, and sometimes I let that talk me out of writing, but it is always so rewarding to just write, even if it isn’t for anything special or that anyone will ever see.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      it is absolutely daunting, Autumn! Writing is rewarding, and it is worth the effort, no matter who sees it or doesn’t. 🙂 Keep going!

      Reply
  18. Savannah Goins

    This post came at the perfect time for me! I was recently the most discouraged I’ve ever been since taking writing seriously a year and a half ago. It was the closest I’ve gotten to calling it quits, but I’m still trying to stumble through my first novel anyway. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Wow, Savannah – I’m so sorry you reached that point of discouragement. I’ve been there, and it is *brutal*. Don’t quit. Learning to tell your story IS worth the effort, the tears, the fight. Read and refill your creative well, and don’t stop for anything.

      Reply
  19. Mike Van Horn

    Back in the 1980s, several of us formed a writing group. We called it the 4F Society–“Fun, Fortune, Fame, and F— the Critics.” I was writing my science fiction story. This lasted for several years, and we writers, including me, had three books published. Alas, mine wasn’t my sci fi, but a how-to book for small business.

    Over the next 20+ years, I published two more how-to books and self-published a bunch of workbooks. But my sci fi stories stayed back-burnered in my notebooks and computer files. Many started, none completed. I focused entirely on building my consulting business.

    A couple of years ago, in a workshop called “Unfinished Business” I saw that if I was ever going to get my stories done in this lifetime, it had to be now. Since that time I have focused at least half my “work time” on writing fiction–while still creating programs for marketing and business growth.

    I have just finished the first sci fi novel, and its sequel is over half done. I’ve also written a number of short sci fi stories, and published them on Medium.com.

    It hasn’t been easy. I keep getting stuck and bogged down and discouraged. I’m not a 15-minutes-per-day writer. I might do a burst of 10 or 20 pages then futz around for several days. But I keep moving.

    I have been greatly helped by critique groups and accountability partners. We relaunched the 4F group, and the writers on Becoming Writer have been steady sources of feedback and encouragement.

    I’m about to start down the road to self-publishing as an ebook, with all the marketing and promotion that entails, and for me, that part is tougher than the writing.

    * * * *

    One more thing. A totally amazing thing has come out of my storytelling. My heroine is a singer/composer (so is the alien). To tell her story, I had to scratch out some verses for songs she sang. I thought, if I have lyrics, I need music. But I can’t carry a tune. So I found a guy to write music for me, get it produced and sung by a blues singer. I now have five songs produced and on Soundcloud.)

    So in addition to becoming a sci fi writer, I have become a lyricist. Who knew?

    This is so much more fun than business writing.

    My advice to writers coming along: DON’T WAIT 30 YEARS!! GO FOR IT NOW.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      Mike, this is one of the best experiences I’ve read. Thank you for sharing this, and thank you for the encouragement! I love your final advice: don’t wait 30 years. Fantastic. Also, that’s so exciting that you wrote music!

      Reply
  20. Modsomjoi

    Hi Reid,
    This article was great! I want to be a writer. I will not stop writing. Your article make me have a power to write again! Thanks much.

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      I’m just thrilled to hear this! You can do it. Like Stephen King said, read a lot and write a lot. That’s the only way!

      Reply
  21. Courtnie Donaldson

    We should have a count ablitiy buddies. Help us all stay on tasks and track? What do y’all think?

    Reply
    • Ruthanne Reid

      😀 That’s why I joined Becoming Writer, actually! It’s important to have people in your life who help that way (and I say this as an introvert)!

      Reply
  22. Rag Mars

    In your densly packed Life you practise each second to postpone. We can learn to
    postpone the PAIN we imaghine now. It may act on us later as well….Real Pain is Imagination

    Reply
  23. RAW

    We write because we must! Inside each writer is a story struggling to break free!

    I loved this story because it elucidates the nature of friendships, complete with their potential problems. All of us who have lived long enough have encountered similar situations in our lives and can relate to the predicament and mixed feelings of the main character.

    Good job! Write on! (Pun intended.)

    R. Allan Worrell

    Reply
  24. Jean Maples

    My problem isn’t that I can’t write or don’t write. I can’t type long papers. I never learned to type. Finding someone to type for me, even paying them, is my big problem. That is a serious problem.

    Reply
  25. Sarah Hadley Brook

    I know your writing isn’t what you want it to be. I know the words coming out of you right now can liquefy your brain with their very crappiness.

    I LOVE that. I need to have it printed on a huge poster and hung from my wall! I really needed to read this today. Thank you!

    Reply

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  1. Writing Links Round Up 5/15-5/20 – B. Shaun Smith - […] The One Difference Between Writers and Non-Writers […]

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