Posted by Linda Apple

“If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire must be not to write.” ~ Hugh Prather

 It seems lately that I’ve not been as concerned with the nuts and bolts of writing as much as the mindset of writing. After all, if your mindset isn’t right, you either are not writing or not doing your best work.

So today I want to know. Are you a writer? Or are you someone who talks writing? Do you attend conferences to rub shoulders with writers and talk the game or are you there to network in hopes of promoting and selling something you have already written? It’s so easy to talk the lingo and play the game. But what does that accomplish?


 I know some writers who were rejected after their first few submissions. They were offended. Discouraged. So what did they do? They picked up their pencils and went home.

Then there are writers who refuse to accept constructive critiques. They argue defensively and eventually, when no one wants their work, they start talking the talk instead of writing the words.

Rejection and critique are not the writer’s enemies. Quite the opposite, they are the gym where the writer grows stronger. Avoiding the computer or pen and paper is the writer’s true enemy. 

Gene Fowler is attributed to saying, “Writing is easy. All you do is sit, staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

 It is discouraging and seems hard sometimes. I get it. But don’t quit. Get in the writing habit. Write a paragraph every day. Perhaps an observation about life or something you heard on the news. Start writing for contests. Even if you don’t win, you will have written. AND the entries that do not win are the bones for pieces that WILL win in the future or something you can submit. Don’t quit!

 My agent, Terry Burns, makes this promise: “There is only one guarantee in writing. If you don’t write, you won’t be published. So don’t be a talker, please. Be a writer! Don’t give up! Keep it up! Write!

My question is this, are you a writer or a one who talks about writing? Are you discouraged? What are you doing about it?

To all of you who have overcome discouragement, what words of advice do you have for those who are struggling?


14 thoughts on “THE WRITE MINDSET

  1. Poor Vereker! Doesn’t he know that you can snack while you talk? But now if one were writing all night, all they can do is drink. Imagine what one would come up with after 3 adult beverages! 😉

  2. An inspirational post, Linda! I go through spells of writing and talking. But because when I talk, I talk to writers, I think I’m still in writer’s mode, and it helps motivate me to put fingers to the keyboard. My best advice is to keep exercising your writing “muscle.” The more you write, the more you have the stamina to write.

    • I agree that we must talk to writers, but for many folks, that is all they do, talk. We must not enjoy the appearance of being a writer more than actually being a writer. As Pam said, writers write (and talk to writers) and write. Just like you do!

    • I went to a conference once and the speaker gave us a button. Then she gave her presentation and we all wondered why we were holding this button. Her last point was “keep your butt in the chair.” 🙂 So we were to put that “butt-on” somewhere close to remind us where we needed to be as writers.

  3. People need to ask themselves why they write and who they are writing for. What’s your motivation? No one ever grew in any endeavor without trials & suffering–in this case rejection. Observe, listen, learn, & improve.

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