Why you have to bleed to write well …


I’ve had a lot of people tell me they want to write a book — or at the very least, that they have some grand idea that would make a bestseller. Hmmm. I suppose they confide this in me because I am a writer and somewhere in their minds they think I’ll be receptive … maybe even give them some advice worth following. Again, hmmm.

The fact of the matter is, writing a book is hard work. Really. I know some folks think it’s nothing more than compiling one’s thoughts with a few stokes on a keyboard, but I’m telling you, it isn’t that easy. Especially when you have other things going on in your life and can’t afford, literally, to seclude yourself to a room of your own — as Virginia Wolf once suggested.

For me, writing fiction is challenging because when I do find the time, my mind is often unprepared. Between taking care of my family, myself and writing for the gigs that pay me, I often find myself unable to switch gears and wander off to the creative side. And then, once I arrive in my own Terabithea and sense the words are ready to explode, alas … Something Wicked ALWAYS This Way Comes … “We’re moving your deadline up three days.

EGADS!! The pen is put to rest, the laptop shut down, and my brain returns to tackle all that is going on around me. I get it Ms. Wolf … really, I do.

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

If you’re a writer, how do you separate your reality from fiction? Do you have a room of your own to go to? And if you’re one of those that have asked me for advice on writing a book, take heed in Hemingway’s words … because the only advice I can give you, is to write.

Write. Write. And write some more. And then throw a few thousand words away. And write some more.

Today’s post inspired by The Daily Prompt: Key Takeaway“Give your newer sisters and brothers-in-WordPress one piece of advice based on your experiences blogging.” OK. So my advice is a little more geared towards people that write books than blog but it’s been my experience that darn near everyone out there who blogs, also thinks that should write a book.


20 Comments Add yours

  1. It’s quite funny that there are people who think writing a book is a piece of cake. Writing is an enjoyable thing for me; however, I’ve never thought it would be easy to write a book.

  2. baka8 says:

    Me? Somebody is asking what “I” think? Well, “I” think I feel honored to be asked. Just reading all the retorts, got me thinking…first, thinking that I need my coffee…and snosler, they didn’t tell you? the planning board just approved the 36 hr. day (did you support that one? it is socialist! one of those Scandinavian things).

    1. snosler says:

      I think you read more than most – your comments always make me think twice.

      Shauna Nosler snosler@gmail.com 317-294-5741

  3. Heather says:

    I wake up around 4 or 5 to either write in my blog or write my book. It just calls to me to write it.

    1. snosler says:

      I wish I was that disciplined !

      Shauna Nosler snosler@gmail.com 317-294-5741

  4. baka8 says:

    The early bird gets the worm? I always thought that it meant “F *^# you! You are late for dinner, again! or something like that.

    1. snosler says:

      That’s funny … I like your take!

  5. Joe Owens says:

    Currently I am putting together an entry for a writing contest with deadline of thew 31st. My wife is collaborating with me so I try to put in an hour of work each night. It is about 2/3 through the rough draft.

    1. snosler says:

      WOW Your wife is collaborating – that’s very cool … will you ever post it online? Is it a short story?

      1. Joe Owens says:

        It is just under 5000 words. Titles “A Pinch of Sugar”. Has a bit of sexual references that might be too much ofr posting here.

      2. snosler says:

        Ah … like the name :)

      3. Joe Owens says:

        I need to check the Word Press guidelines before I post it.

  6. huntmode says:

    There’s a reason for the old adage by Red Smith, who was asked if turning out a daily column wasn’t quite a chore. …”Why, no,” dead-panned Red. “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.” (credit to another blogger, http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/09/14/writing-bleed/). How writers who live with other people get anything done is a marvel to me. Kudos for getting the job done any which way you can carve out time, space and the illusory peace to do so! Best ~ Huntmode

    1. snosler says:

      This is great – and so true … how do writers live with other people?!

  7. kbeck13 says:

    I write for ten or twenty minutes at four thirty in the morning every day. It’s not much but at least it’s something.

    1. snosler says:

      YIKES … I am sooo not a morning person – I know, sometimes you have to be to get stuff done but I just cannot get up that early – wish I had that kind of discipline!

      1. kbeck13 says:

        I worked at 6am for seven years so it’s just something I’ve gotten used to. I used to HATE mornings. Funny how things can change.

  8. Big Daddy says:

    Yes it can be very difficult to do all that is required to work and keep all the day to day issues in check.

    1. snosler says:

      Hmmm … that’s why someone should invent the 36 hour day – or maybe I’ll just ask my husband to buy me a room of my own :)

      1. Big daddy says:

        I have always lived by the saying, “the early bird gets the worm” the best time to have your thoughts about you is when no one else is Wake!

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