What do you believe?

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by BT Cassidy

What you believe about your writing makes a difference.

I've a friend who has that indefinable thing, something that, when he sets pen to paper, makes him a great writer.

Talent. He is talented, is a master of the spellbinding sentence, wants to write, but doesn't.

He believes he only writes to get others into bed. This belief, tied with the fact he's been in a three year relationship means he doesn't write. Yet he wonders why.

He has lost nothing he knows about writing, he has not lost his art, but the wish he holds for his writing has been fulfilled.

Sometimes, you have to ask yourself if what you believe about your writing is helping, or hindering you.

There are many reasons for writing; fame, fortune, simple pleasure. I think of writing, the arts in general, as a Master who has much to teach me.

Our beliefs about our writing can help form a muse- that thing that inspires you to sit down, day after day in front of the blank page and to fill it with words.

We write to fulfill some wish, but you must be careful what you wish for. Writing takes on the form of a bridge under construction, between that which we desire in the future, and our place in the present.

Enjoy the pleasure of the wishing, savor the shaping of that wish, but don't let its achievement be a limitation. Each fulfillment is a small taste of realization, a tiny seed for the shape of the past yet to come. Every time you're excited to look at what you wrote the day before is a triumph over the things that would prevent you from writing- your own past limitations.

But be careful what you wish for, because sometimes, "May your dreams come true," can be a curse, as well as a blessing.

So what do you believe about your writing?


Mike French said...

Love the:

"Writing takes on the form of a bridge under construction, between that which we desire in the future, and our place in the present."

I believe that I need to get on and do some writing this year!

Anonymous said...

I think this is very true. People say they write because they can't not write, but what happens after they've completed the novel? Maybe many of them don't complete the novel, or flit from one wip to another, because they would lose their reason for writing if it was ever finished.
I began writing because a story wanted me to write it, I didn't have much choice in the matter. Then I decided I knew so little about the craft of wriitng that I should spend some time trying to master it, and the completed, albeit only partially edited, novel was consigned to the bottom drawer.
Then I decided I'd like to be published, but instead of resurrecting the novel I wrote something else and after going through the submission and rejection mill with two mss, I then decided I didn't want or need the hassel of being published after all.
And so ended my reason to write, just when I've reached the point where I know that, technically, I can write.
Now, I just can't be bothered, and if it wasn't for the fact that I have time on my hands and nothing else to fill it with, I wouldn't still be writing.

Unknown said...

This says more about writers and writing more neatly (and briefly) than I would have imagined possible. My personal belief in my writing changes every time I attempt it.

Nothing in my experience demands more confidence combined with recklessness. When I sit down to write, I get an enormous dose of adrenaline, to which I've grown addicted. Who cares if I'm poor and largely unpublished? Good day writing or bad, writing terrifies and thrills me like nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Very nicely put, Kathleen. I've got a saying I made up, written on a small piece of paper just above my PC, that says, Work on the assumption you'll be the only one to see it. Even if you're not the only one, it makes the reasons for writing quite simple. I'm writing for me, and I love it. And of course write every day and you get all the enjoyment it brings and the pains in the neck when you're producing rubbish:)

A Paperback Writer said...

I believe my own writing is better than a fair amount of what's out there for YA readers right now (and I read a LOT of YA).
I also believe most of the "good writing" is created by marketing. In other words, someone decides that novel A will be "good," they tell everyone it's good, and people buy it and talk about how good it is. I've read a number of things in the past couple of years that were highly publicized and mediocre.
I will keep on writing. My students still love my stuff, even if no one else reads it.

Jane Turley said...

Hmm... writing to get someone into bed sounds quite healthy to me! In fact, most of my blog is an attempt to get Pierce Brosnan into bed but unfortunately he just won't cooperate at the moment. Unfortunately for the world this means I'll just have to keep writing!

Interesting article BT; I write primarily for my own enjoyment but over the last year as I've developed relationships with my blog readers sometimes I write things that specifically I know some readers or even an individual will enjoy..and that gives me even more pleasure!

I find writing very therapeutic too and if I've had the time to write something I feel so much happier.I guess that's the need to create and express.

Stella said...

Good to have you over here, BT.

Loved the pic.