I have gotten, and given, in my life, a metric buttload of writing advice. The only advice that works every single time, of course, is to put your bottom in a chair and write. Writers write. You know that. I know that.
I have met approximately four billion people in this world who want to be writers and don’t write.
There have been times that I am one of those people.
What insanity is this?
Why do we as humans talk about writing so much and then do so precious little writing?
Here at the Deb Ball we have a trained mental health professional on staff. Deb Kerry always has a smart solution, a new way of looking at a problem, a sympathetic ear and a level of compassion that I could never match. She knows that there are a thousand good and understandable reasons that a person might not write, even if she wants to write.
Today is not Deb Kerry’s day to post. You’re stuck with me.
I am the Jillian Michaels of writing. If I could come to your house and yell at you to write until you barf, I would come to your house and yell until you barf. “Write!” I would scream. “What are you doing with those dishes? Put down those dishes! Have you written yet? I didn’t think so. Go write!”
While you were in the shower I would knock on the bathroom door. “Are you done in there? It is time to write. You better be plotting! I am coming in there!”
At night just seconds before you fell asleep I would pop out from the closet and shout “MY GOD HOW ARE YOU SLEEPING WHEN YOU DID NOT WRITE TODAY!?!?!?” And give you a heart attack.
And you know what? I would not be the only one shouting at you all day long. If you are a writer, that shouting voice already lives in your head. She is screaming at you to write or else. She is telling you, like the brilliant Bernadette in Maria Semple’s terrific beautiful hilarious novel, that if you don’t create you will be a menace. You may only be a menace to yourself, but if you long to write and don’t, you will probably find yourself shouting all day long at yourself until you do. And yes, though I am being tongue and cheek in this post, you can and probably should work on the shouting. The shouting, ultimately, is not that helpful. But it is often easier to just do as the shouty voice says than fight your own longings every step of the way.
So get that voice out of your head the only way you can. (No, not from coming after me with a baseball bat.) Write.
It’s what writers do, after all.
13 Replies to “The Best Writing Advice Deb Kelly Ever SHOUTED AT YOU!!!”
Once again you’ve hit the nail precisely on the head, oh wise Deb Kelly.
When I was struggling with writing, I was given this quote for inspiration. It helped me, I hope it helps all of the writers out there…but it will only work if you do as deb Kelly says. You must write.
When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little without faith and without hope, suddenly the work will finish itself.
– Isak Dinesen
What a beautiful quote, Jennifer. Faith and hope are nice. But work is vital.
Kelly – YES! YES YES YES!!!! ~looks around with guilty eyes because it’s 5:13 am and I haven’t done my writing yet~
Love that quote from Dinesen!
GO BACK TO BED, for the love of God.
And then when you get up a few hours from now, start writing!
What happened to the tough love thing???? Sadly, I have this small encumbrance called work. If I go back to bed, all will be lost.
LOL! I, um, think I’ll go write now… *runs away, terrified*
That’s what I’m talking about.
You need to come over today, Deb Kelly. You can hold the baby and I’ll write. 🙂
That sounds divine and like an excellent way for me to procrastinate writing!
Shh! Stop yelling! I’m writing!
Uh, could you hand me the blue towel, please?
Thanks for the kick in the … well, for the shout.
YES! I love this. Especially the bit about the shower (though no, you may NOT come in…). This is also exactly what I needed to get me off my rear and back in gear to finish my legal work so I can move on to writing later today!!
HA HA! Thanks for the laugh AND the motivation! I’m also the Jillian Michaels of writing (being a former track coach and all). But it’s nice to have someone else to give you a shove, rather than a gentle nudge when you need it. And today, for me, is one of those days! MY BUTT IS NOW FIRMLY IN CHAIR! Thank you!
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