Battling the Buts

When my friend Teri was in Paris, a few years back,  I went to visit her. Paris_-_Eiffelturm_und_Marsfeld2One day she came home all a-twitter. She had been invited to a party by a guy she had seen, often, at an internet cafe. senior-man-in-beret (A handsome, Frenchman).

Later, she and I, her brother Anthony and a guy friend of his, discussed whether she should go to the party or not:

"But . . . do you think he really meant to invite me?" she said. "Maybe he was just being nice . . . "

"Did he look at you?" Anthony and friend asked.

"Yes."

"Then he's interested."

"But . . .

"Did he smile at you?" Anthony and friend asked.

"Yes."

"Then he's interested."

"But . . .

"Did he talk to you you?" Anthony and friend asked.

"Yes."

"Then he's interested. . . . GO TO THE PARTY!!!!"

It's the same with writing, or any creative, non time-card activity. When it comes to our definition of "working" or not, we go all middle-grade and dismiss all that goes into the process with that 3-letter word: "But . .. that doesn't count... "But . .. I'm not really...

The UNs had a "few" middle school moments at the VCFA Alumni-rez this July

To counteract those insecure boogies, I've created this litmus test. (I've used "writing" as my creative endeavor. Substitute yours for it.) Then print it out and post it prominently. The next time buts get the better of you, give yourself the test.

Am I Writing?

Are you thinking about your story?

You're writing!

Are you doing research for your story?

You're writing!

Are you reading words written by other writers, especially those you admire...or not?

You're writing!

Have you written words today? A grocery list? An email? Notes for your story? ...any at all?

YOU ARE A WORKING WRITER!!!!!!! 

--Read. Respond. When in doubt, repeat. Repeat as needed.

Written Words are a renewable resource!

 

Spending My Summer Vacation

Were your "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" Back-to-School essays fact or fiction? Or like mine, some of both.

I used to think you had to "go somewhere else" in order to have something "interesting" to write. I'm learning what Tam Smith and Sharry Wright, blog sisters on Kissing The Earth

seem to have known all along, and what led young reader-me to spend countless satisfying summer days curled up in a cozy spot, reading: the landscapes of a book can be a real, as captivating, as life-altering as any. In case you're wondering why  I haven't been posting, it's Summertime. I'm spending my Summer Vacation. I'll write you all about it, later. . .