Ah, the recursive magic of Twitter. Today, Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) tweeted a link to a blog post by Andy Ihnatko (@Ihnatko) that included a quote from Gaiman and Patton Oswalt’s (@pattonoswalt) Death Bed bit (that clip has some NSFW language, by the way, so don’t click on it unless your boss is very cool or you have headphones). The post was about continuing writing and, more importantly, finishing no matter what your inner devils may say.
Ihnatko writes that no matter if you’re feeling lazy, or if you lose focus, or if you want to work on something else, or if you can’t help but think your writing is crap, (and we’ve all been there) you need to keep writing. More importantly, when you write, you need to finish. As Gaiman points out, only writers who finish get published. And as Oswalt points out, even if you think what you are writing is terrible in every way, and even if other people think that too, some people may love it. But the only way your writing will get out there will be if you finish. So stop whining, persevere, and finish.
I’m so glad I saw Ihnatko’s post today. As I mentioned recently, I have committed to writing a short story every week. I outlined my second story and it just flowed out of me, for the first time in a long time. Usually I struggle to write a draft a couple thousand words long. This time, I tore through an outline and looked down to see my word count was over 1,200. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to start writing this story. Then the little devil voices started getting louder and louder, and my writing slowed. But today, thanks to Ihnatko, it’s devil ass-kicking time. Back to writing. I will finish. Again and again and again.
By the way, someone let me know if a story of mine turns out to be a thinly veiled rip off of Death Bed, okay?