How To Be a REAL Writer

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Excuse the poor lighting here, the sun hasn't come out since 2016 so I'm doing my best... Typewriter print found here.

And now on to my post.

Like most things in life; I've got this very romanticized, dreamy idea of what it means to be a writer.

I imagine myself living all seasons in chunky cardigans, wearing black square frame glasses, having sharp bangs that top my even sharper bob cut, all while I work from my beachside cottage surrounded by dogs and ocean waves. I think I'm somewhere on the East coast, but I haven't decided for sure. Monterey seems like it could also suit my fantasy.

So basically I'd like to be Nancy Meyers.

Notice that in my little cute little dream I don't ever see the actual work of a writer that goes on... Just the fun imaginary part. Such is me.

When my mom would drag me along to Jazzercise, she was the Queen of Jazzercise in Norfolk, Nebraska in the 90s, rather than playing with the other kids I preferred to crawl behind the desk and write stories. Usually about cats or ghosts. Sometimes both.

Even into middle school and high school I spent my study halls filling notebooks with fiction. I would get lost with my characters and not notice an hour passing by. Same goes for those mandatory sorority "study hours" in college. It was my time to write and I loved it.

And then somewhere after college I lost the joy a bit and became filled with fear and anxiety over writing. When I decided I really wanted to pursue writing and actually finish something rather than just blabbing in notebooks it became hard and scary for me.

Thus begins one of the most annoying writing phases in my life. I have stopped and started more projects than I count. Sadly, people close to me have also started and stopped reading almost every one of these said projects.

"Just finish one, for the love of God," -my mom, more or less on everything I write.

I'm 40,000 words in on something right now, which is the furthest I've been in awhile. Mind you, I started it in 2015 so it's not really anything to brag about. Naturally, I want to throw the towel in and stop because I'm sure it sucks. It makes my skin crawl it's so bad.

In talking with my friends the other day, all very talented writers I met while studying in the CONSERVATREE at the Second City, I asked them, "Do I finish this even though I hate it? Or start this other great idea I have..."

"You finish," they all said.

And then I started to whine and tell them how hard it is and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Sarah responded, "It's not supposed to be fun. You have to treat writing like it's like your job. That's what separates the professionals from the people who do it as a hobby."

I'm misquoting her slightly, but she's getting her MFA at USC in screen and television writing so she writes like a machine. She turns out 100 new sitcoms and screenplays every week. When Sarah gives advice about writing, I take it.

So today for two hours I will sit down and write like it's my job. It won't be fun and it won't be dreamy, but it has to be done. I've gotten to the point where not finishing this damn book feels harder than finishing it. Even if it sucks, I just want it done.

Enough is enough, these characters deserve an ending. Even the terrible blogger character who is obsessed with Instagram and lives for LIKES and thinks just one RG by Baby Gap would put her child on the map... She's actually quite fun, and also very cathartic for me to write.

And on a different note, I sent out my first newsletter yesterday!

Going forward, it will include (but is not limited to)

*TSHIRT PROMOS & GIVEAWAYS
*Updates on dogs I'd like to save
*Blogging/Writing/Social Media tips
*Terrible jokes
*Harlow doing Harlow things
*Daily mantras
*Self help stuff that I enjoy
*Pics of all of you, being awesome wearing my shirts
*Funny writing from my comedian friends
*Pics of your dogs?!
*WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE

Get on board, I think this will be fun. Click here: SIGN UP! 

Write it down, make it happen.

Today's mantra: Act as if.

11 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh it's like you're speaking right to me in this one. I was literally just struggling last night with just sitting down to write and I told myself I would get it done today no matter what. I'm about 45k words into my novel I started in 2015 and I don't understand how I can't just FINISH ALREADY.

    Oh, and hi, I almost never comment here but I've been following your blog for about 2 years now and it's my absolute favorite. I look forward to your posts every single day. :D

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  2. I cannot write, well I can write as you can see, I can put letters together and form words so I can write, I just can't write it would be cool if I could turn letters and words into a story but not going to happen so those who do manage it are amazing and so talented

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  3. Aha I used to write newsletters for my family when I was about 9/10 and I made them pay me for it! Keep going with the book! X
    http://misszarabelle.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. I definitely think you should write a play or short story set in a Pilates studio.

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  5. It's like you took the words out of my head, it's somehow so much scarier writing something as an adult. But, I think it's worthwhile too. Not that I would know, because I've never finished anything either. 2017 just might be the year!

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  6. I cant wait until you post about having your first e-book or a collections of essays! Keep trying. sending you some positive vibes =)

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  7. I'm not normally a fan of newsletters, but yours sounds like it'll be fun!

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  8. Hi Taylor! I'm a big fan of you- this might be lame but have you read Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. Its a fast (inspiring) (but not like too much fluffy stuff) read- I really enjoyed it and it talks on points you mentioned in this post! You should check it out!

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  9. Yup, writing is a job. Lots of people think they can be successful writers (and/or bloggers), but they aren't willing to put in the time. I may or may not be speaking from firsthand experience... But I'm getting there!

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