This past weekend, I had the privilege and pleasure of speaking to FCRW, a group of writers to whom I’ve had a special attachment for a very long time.
While sitting in on another’s workshop, she teased that I had “the secret” and wouldn’t tell it. That stuck with me all day. And the more workshops I sat in on, and the more I considered it, the more I agreed with her–that I knew “the secret,” not that I wouldn’t share it.
That night, I scrapped the keynote I was to give and gave one that revealed “the secret.”
It’s simple. Like so many other things in life, almost ignored, its value obscured by it’s simplicity. But with intense focus, I saw the truth, and I knew it was truth.
I shared the secret with those who attended that night, and I share it here for any who care to see it. You consider it, you weigh its value, and you determine whether or not you deem it truth. I’m convinced, and content.
The secret is:
If you want to write, you will.
Everything beyond that is just stuff, and, yes, that includes selling and promotion, and even craft. We get ourselves all tied up in knots worrying about that which we shouldn’t, and neglect or skim over that which we should. Writing is. It either is a part of your life or it isn’t. You choose.
Years ago, when I went through this “should I continue writing or quit” crisis, I realized two things: 1) I have always loved to write. 2) I still loved to write, but I hated trying to sell what I was writing.
So I asked myself: “What if I continue to write the rest of my life and never sell anything I’ve written? Will I feel my time and life have been wasted?”
For me, obviously, the answer was no. But asking myself those questions liberated me from the “I must sell to justify doing this” burden.
I write because I love it. I’m fortunate that some of what I write sells. Not all, but some. And some is more than I need. Not more than I want, but more than I need. Significant difference.
That day, I knew I was a writer. That day, I knew if I never sold a thing–and I hadn’t then–I would always write.
I don’t find it at all coincidental that the project I started that day was the first of my works to sell. I believe writing for the love it infused that work with a special magic that can’t be faked, feigned, or infused. It’s either there because the writer feels it, or it’s not.
So there is “the secret.” If you want to write, you will.
Don’t be fooled by its simplicity. The power in those seven words is enormous.
Realize, too, that in those words is buried a universal truth. One that doesn’t just apply to writing, but to anything in life. If you want to… you will.
“Trust is earned, one book at a time.”
–Vicki Hinze https://vickihinze.com
Note: I edit books and professional correspondence. But I do NOT edit email or this blog. This is chat time for me, so if the grammar is goofed or a word’s spelled wrong, please just breeze on past it. I’d appreciate it–and salute you with my coffee cup. 🙂
You are permitted to use the blog post above in its entirety, free of charge, provided you include the following text:
Copyright 2005. Vicki Hinze
Vicki Hinze is a multi-published author, who has a free library of her articles on writing–the craft, business and life–at https://www.vickihinze.com.