Write like your hair’s on fire

You know the sound of graphite against lined paper? The tap, tap, tapping of computer keys? Yes, those are sounds I absolutely adore! It means creativity is happening. It doesn’t even matter if what ends up on the page, stays on the page in the end. What matters is the loops and coils of imagination are loosening in the old gray matter and work is being done.

close up of typewriter vintage retro styled

I often get hung up on what I’m not writing. Oh, I have all kinds of stories that are naughty—misbehaving in the worst way imaginable! So they sit in the virtual corner of my WIP file and I try to write on other things for a bit. Or do housework. God knows, housework seems to never be fully done around here with a high-schooler, college student, one dog, two cats, a guinea pig, and a garden that I’ve left untouched since last spring, and piles and piles of laundry. The fish are the husband’s responsibility.

I sometimes think I would rather do just about anything instead of writing. But, and here’s the strangest thing ever, writing is the best way to feed my soul. Then the question I should be asking myself is, Why is it so hard to sit down and do what I love most? The thing that makes me feel most productive, renders the biggest rewards, the very thing that allows me to say I’m an author, not just a writer?

A virtual friend recently asked our group for encouragement. He’s +6,000 words into his manuscript and is suddenly feeling doubts creep in.

The secret kingdom series

Paralyzing doubts. Strong enough, I’m guessing (because he asked for encouragement) that he is on the brink of throwing his manuscript out and never writing again.

If you’re not an author, you may not understand this. You may think that this guy probably should put his stuff aside – because who wants to go through that kind of self-doubt each and every day?

And here’s where I tell you that everyone who responded to my friend’s plea for encouragement – every single one – said they experience the same thing. Every time they write.

This may be the crux of my reluctance to set out and deal with those naughty stories. The ones that aren’t coming together the way I think they should. The ones that go too far. The ones that frighten me. The ones I’m avoiding. But I will go back to them. I will haul them out and let them breathe, and allow the at times crippling grip of the creative process begin anew.


Because I’m an author. And sometimes that means I have to write like my hair’s on fire. I can’t look back at the page, I don’t dare critique the process (that kills creativity, by the way). I just have to get it out of me and onto the page. Then, and only then, will I go back and rework it all over again.

Magic tree with butterflies in frame.

It’s a process. It’s agonizing. But I haven’t met an author yet who would have it any other way. Once imagination is let loose, there is no telling where it will take me. But I promise you, the journey is worth it.

Enjoy Curse of the Seven 70s, my paranormal romantic comedy here – and don’t forget to sign up for my blog and leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!

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