Saying You Want to Write Versus Actually Writing

I just heard this great quote by Ernest Hemingway, thanks to Rachel Aaron:

Those who say they want to be writers, and aren’t writing, don’t.

So, are you talking about writing… or actually doing it?

This is the difference between amateurs and professionals. This is the crux of the matter. This is where the so-called rubber meets the road.

Writers write. Posers talk about writing. Here’s how you shun the latter and become the former:

Step 1: Stop talking

Turn off Twitter.

Block out distractions.

Stop lying to yourself when you say, “Some day, I will do this.” You will not.

Some say that talk is cheap. In this case, they’re right. Pardon the poignancy of the phrase, but shut up. If all you ever do is talk about the novel you’re going to write, then you are a liar and a coward.

Fear has taken over. You must fight to regain control. Nobody wants to hear what you are going to do. Not publishers or future employers or would-be readers. They want to know what you’ve done or what you’re doing.

No one ever won an award or led a revolution by what he said he was going to do. He did it by doing it.

Step 2: Start writing

Pretty simple. Begin. Start today, not tomorrow. Write.

Whether you want to or feel like it is irrelevant. Use a writing prompt if you need one. Time yourself, if you need something to motivate you. Shut yourself in your office or bedroom or a coffee shop and begin.

Forget about publishing and marketing and agents. And just write. That is all you need to know right now.

Step 3: Repeat

Keep doing it. Persevere. Do not give up. As you continue, you’ll find yourself slowly becoming a writer. And one day, you won’t have to think about it.

You may not necessarily like it, but you’ll do it. You’ll get up in the morning, ready to go to work. You won’t talk about it; you’ll just do it.

And then, you’ll no longer be an amateur. You’ll stop being someone who talks about what she is going to do. And you’ll actually be doing it.

You’ll find yourself so busy creating that there will be little time to talk about it.

Do you talk about writing? Or do you actually do it? Share in the comments.