Writing vs. Have Written


I don't think I'm alone in this struggle. In fact, I know that they've talked about it on Writing Excuses, so I'm pretty sure this is a common topic of discussion, or at least thought, among writers. And that topic is the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from having written something as opposed to actually writing something.

I'm a day dreamer and I like to get caught up in the published author mystic. My thoughts run to the future of when I have a hard bound version of my book on a bookshelf or listed on Amazon. This seems pretty normal and is one of the reasons that prompts one to write a book. But the downside is that it is distracting and can actually hinder the writing process. Constantly thinking and dreaming of the future of your book can allow what I call the crowd-editing syndrome to take over. And that is when you start writing your book for the crowd and not yourself. As soon as you do that as a writer you can kiss your published author fantasy to the curb.

The thing is, I love to write, and I hate it. Like right now, I'm writing this blog instead of working on my manuscript. And it's a first draft where anything goes! What is the deal? But I know once I begin and get into it, the words will hopefully flow and I will end the day feeling satisfied that I wrote some words. I just wish I could keep my mind focused on that daily activity 100% of the time instead of wishing that the damn thing was complete. I want the pats on the back and the accolades that go along with finishing a draft of a novel. Many people set out to write one but few ever actually finish, so it is a great accomplishment in and of itself. My goal, then, is to remain focused on my day-to-day process and let the other stuff work itself out in the future, all on it's own, without any energy wasted in the present.