My writing buddy and fellow Weakling, Bob Evenhouse, did a great blog post yesterday about excuses. I’d like to offer another point of view.
I recently led an hypocritical workshop at the Breathe Conference about blogging (the truth comes out!). My presentation was an introduction to blogging. I gave some reasons why people should be blogging. I gave a few strategies for how to get started and how to keep going. Then I gritted my teeth and gave the advice that I too have been ignoring: how to keep your blog from killing your other writing projects.
I’ve been very consistent on my blog, but to be completely honest (because complete honesty is what the internet is for, right?), I’ve allowed my blog to kill my novels.
I am, and always have been, a great un-finisher. It’s amazing that I manage to finish these sentences as I type. To date, I have three unfinished novels (two of which are the firsts of unfinished series), and a whole slew of unfinished stories revolving around a squirrel and his invisible roommate (the stories are at least written, but I need to illustrate them or somehow get them published still). Plus, I have a number of short story ideas that need written down. Then somewhere in the midst of these projects, I decided to start a blog.
Why would I start a blog when I have so many unfinished manuscripts crying out to me from within my brain? There are some days I ask the same question. The answer I eventually circle back to is that I want to one day be published and I want a community of readers and other writers with me when that happens. I want to hone my craft by sitting my buns in a chair everyday and banging my head against a keyboard until words form themselves into sentences.
A strange thing happened when I started my blog. I didn’t stop writing it. Granted, I need to figure out how to work this perseverance into my other projects, but at least I’m writing something consistently.
I could come up with a lot of excuses for why I haven’t published a bestseller yet. Instead, I’ll give you the only reason that I think stands a chance at plausibility: I’m still learning to finish things well. This blog is part of that. You, reader, are part of that too.
Thank you for the encouragement along the way. I need it.