Friday, October 26, 2007

Who, What, When, Where, Why and How???

Who are you as an author? What made you decide to write? When and Where do you write? Why do you do it? How bad do you want it? The last question may well be the most important question you’ll ask yourself in your writing career.

The Encyclopedia, The Free Dictionary online has this to say concerning the definition of an author.

An author is the person who creates a written work, such as a book, story, article, or the like, whether short or long, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, technical or literary.

Who? As an author you are the one to pen/type your words, create your world, and introduce us to your characters. It’s your job to make them come to life for the reader. To so submerge them into this world you’ve created, the reader will sigh as they close the book not wanting to leave their new found friends.

So, what made you decide to write? Or this could simply say why do you write? You can read the post on why do you write, in its entirety here.

Or maybe it’s one of the ones below.
Is it because:
a. You’ve read 1000 books and decided, “Hey, I can do that.”
b. This years lineup on TV just aren’t doing it for you and your bored
c. Everybody’s writing something, besides it’s pretty cool to tell people you’re a writer
d. Because the damn muse will not shut up. You’re character won’t leave you alone. In fact they’re pretty much demanding you write their story or forfeit all thoughts of sleep and a normal life.

Depending on “Who” you are, you may pick any one of the above. For me, it’s definitely the last one. I go to sleep thinking about the book and wake up thinking about it. I have notepads everywhere in case they speak to me and I’m not near the computer. Trust me, if I don’t write it down I might just forget it. My muse knows this, but she a stubborn one. I pretty sure she feels like once she tells me it’s my job to get and remember it.

When and Where do you write? Are you a morning person, like C L Wilson, who loves to write at 4:00 AM or are you an late night person, like Anne Marie who prefers anywhere from 11:00 pm until the dreaded 4:00 AM? Me, I’m neither of those. I write when I get home from the day job. Regardless of when you write the importance is that you write. You will never see the end if you don’t have HOKBIC (hands on keyboard, butt in chair). Where you choose to write should be the place that most inspires you. If you need absolute quiet then sitting in front of the tube with the kids/dogs playing all around you probably won’t work. If that doesn’t bother you and your creative juices flow between commercials then by all means do that. Basically what I’m saying it pick what works best for you and to use Nike’s phrase Just Do It.

Okay, you’ve answered the who, what, when, where, and why’s. There’s just one more question to ask. This, in my humble opinion, may be the most important question to answer in your writing career.

How bad do you want it? Are you willing to give up television at night in order to write? If you work a day job are you willing to make this your second job to get it done? This is your career and it’s up to you how fast or long it takes to reach “The End”. But if you’re serious about wanting this as a career you must make time to write everyday or almost everyday. How much time you devote will differ from day to day and also depending on your life. But time devoted is the only way you’ll finish the book.

If this is to be a career then yes, it’s your second job until the day comes you can make it your one and only job. How long will it take you? That’s your decision and yours alone. For me, it’s working on it everyday when I come home from pay the bills job. I’ve heard that in order to achieve the things you want most you should act like it’s already a done deal. That means writing deadlines and finishing the book.

So your turn, do you have any Who, What, When, Where, Why and How’s going on in your world? Have you decided this is your career and created a career path for yourself? Or are you simply writing as you have time just for the joy of writing a story?

Oh, any by the way, if you haven’t been to the Maven’s this week for the Choose Your Own Adventure, what are you waiting for. You’ve got several days to read and then choose the next. It’s a writer’s Halloween party going on over there. :)

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,



Patricia W. said...

Who? Definitely an author. Published, if you count my one e-book with The Wild Rose Press.

What? -- A book outline that popped into my head, near complete but I didn't act on it. Then, a year later, someone else had written that book. Also, I discovered inspirational fiction but not much with multicultural characters (some 10 years ago). Finally, I was approaching 40 and decided I wouldn't live my life full of regret for the things I hadn't tried to accomplish.

When? -- Whenever I can. While waiting for my carpool. In doctors' offices. In the car while Hubby drives. At home after the day job.

Where? - Goes with when. Wherever I can, although I prefer a peaceful place.

Why? -- Because the stories keep popping into my head and I believe God gifted me to be a halfway decent writer. Now He wants me to do the rest: learn everything I can and put the gift to work.

How? -- Very badly. But I have so much to learn so I'm impatiently patient.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I'm writing with intent and momentum, but not to the exclusion of everyday life with two small boys. Translation: I'm taking it relatively slowly. ;)

Danika / OpenChannel said...

I'm definitely the "d. Because the damn muse will not shut up."

I've known I was a writer since I was 6 years old. I can't not write. I get very anxious if too much time goes by without writing.

I don't feel I've sacrificed anything to be a writer, I feel I've sacrificed writing to work and be over-involved in causes.

I'll never stop writing; I never could. My goal is to support myself on my writing and I'm getting there!

Speaking of writing... my Weekend Writing Workout is up.

Vicki said...

Patricia - writing whenever you can is great! Learning the craft is on going, there are some wonderful online workshops as well as surfing the net and reading the writing tips from other well known published authors. If you aren't reading Kristin Nelson's blog then I'd suggest you check it out. She's doing a query letter section now and is amazing at the info she shares.

Alyssa - with two young children you have to fit the writing in around life. Totally. Still you impress me with all the work you do and still make time for writing. You Rock!!!

Danika - I knew you'd be D. A kindred spirit, oh yeah. I'm so excited to see everything that is happening in your writing career. Just think, I'll be able to say I knew her when. :D