So you want to write a novel…

Posted: November 12, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , ,

Just had to share this story.
My Clark Kent impression of a day job is as a Sr. software engineer in the healthcare industry. A few years ago I was out of town at this huge and fantastic children’s hospital where we were deploying our product. At the time I was eagerly writing as much as I could, pounding away at the keyboard on my way to finishing my first 90K word novel Genetic Impulse.

I was in a Starbuck’s (yeah, inside the hospital – like I said, it was huge), and I overheard one of the executive administrator’s talking to the clerk. The lady behind the counter was asking him if he’d finish writing his book yet.
My ears perked up. Someone else writing? Awesome! I have to eavesdrop on this conversation.
The administrator replied “I haven’t actually finished it yet. Well, I haven’t actually started, but I do have all these ideas. And they’re going to be a smash. I can’t wait to be a successful writer and get out of this place.”
I almost choked from laughing. Really? He hadn’t written a word yet and here he was, ready to rub his colleagues noses in the fact that he was a writing super star. And he hadn’t written one word.

Here I was, scratching out time during the day, during the night, during lunch, wherever I could to continue getting better and more importantly, getting it done.

It is not an easy process. And as I’ve heard and learned, you have to love the process. You have to love writing. You have to love editing. You have to love networking and social media. You have to learn to take the bullets when someone doesn’t like or appreciate your effort. And if you do all that, you will have accomplished something the executive at the Starbuck’s probably never will. You’ll be a writer with a completed manuscript in your back pocket. And no one can take that away.

The takeaway? Don’t be that guy. Don’t be the smart mouth who never finished what he started. Or didn’t start. It’s taken me a while to get my daily groove on and light up the laptop screen with my best effort. So please, find your writing groove and don’t be that guy.

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