The secret to writing success?
What is it?
We already possess it.
We use it daily, and, in most aspects of our lives, have honed it to a scalpel’s keenness.
Is it creativity?
No, creative people rarely have time to sit down at a keyboard, as they are too busy feng shui-ing their way through the house and garden.
Certainly not. Frustrated genius is so common it has become a cliché.
Nope, determined people die, every day; sad, shrunken and unfulfilled.
THE ONE ESSENTIAL, NON-NEGOTIABLE, NON-TRANSFERABLE FREE SECRET TO WRITING SUCCESS is, of course, denial.
Never underestimate the power of denial.
Now, with e-publishing, that there are officially more writers than readers the skill of denial is more important, nay, more crucial than ever.
Don’t deny your denial; celebrate, revel in it!
Sweet denial is the single guaranteed skill that will GET YOU THROUGH the first draft of your current novel:
YES, the writing is compelling!
YES, the characters are gripping, well-rounded, and earnest!
YES, the book will be published, promoted, and lauded!
(In truth, the writing will probably be spotty and in dire need of revision. The characters, so sparky and real in your mind’s-eye, will be somewhat stale and inconsistent. A publisher is not waiting, pen poised, with a six-figure contract for you to sign.)
But the good news is, because of denial, we have made it through. We have finished a first draft and now the real writing, rewriting, can begin.
We all looked at ourselves in the mirror this morning, and despite our blemishes, bulges and imperfections, went out to face the world. And to a certain undeniable degree, we all succeed in a million tiny, and ultimately telling, ways everyday.
As writers we need to apply our finely-tuned skills of denial directly to our writing. Not to undermine our enthusiasm for writing on a daily basis, but to make it easier. Accept the fact that it’s difficult to write and realize that: a) What we write might not be good—but with work and rewriting can be improved. b) If it is good it might not be published—at least right away. And c) If it is published it might not sell—no Silver Lining here, just something to be aware of. Sorry.
Think for a minute: of all the modern skills we possess denial is the one that has evolved into an unconscious art-form. On an hourly basis, raise your hands, please, who doesn’t utilize the following formulae of denial:
1) My job/marriage/stock portfolio/commute will get better.
2) I’ll start working out, eating smart, and lose a few pounds.
3) The children are just going through an annoying phase.
4) We can easily turn this global warming thing around...
Ruth Gordon said, Never give up and face the facts. This is dandy advice. As writers we should lighten up, lower our expectations and allow ourselves to turn out well-intentioned dreck.
Utilize denial as a tool to make writing easier. Pretend you’re writing gems and at least you’re producing some rocks that can be polished to eventually look like gems.
Sadly—and happily—the world is what we see it as. Writers need to use this cosmic loophole to our advantage. Don’t procrastinate because your writing isn’t good enough. Pretend you’re good enough and finish that first draft. Improve your writing through writing—utilizing the positive power of denial!
I mean NO!
Now I’m all confused, I think I’ll go write something.