Words and Beads

by Alexandre Leclerc

According to various sources, all I have to do to be a writer is to write between 300 and 1000 words every day.

So here I am, writing.

Is this how it feels like to be a writer? If so, the writing life is fraught with uncertainty.

Is this how you do it?

A writer whose work I enjoy reading once wrote:

Quote by Neil Gaiman“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”

Stringing words like beads on a necklace is easy enough. And it’s easy enough to end up with a decent piece of jewelry.

But to get a piece that will wow some beholders, or at least get them talking, you need hard work, know-how, and lots of time. Or, like Hemingway said:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

You can always tell which pieces were given a bit of time and which the artist bled over. Anne Lamott wrote in Bird by Bird that the writer needs to give his best in each work, to give his all to the current work in progress without holding back, without keeping anything for the next piece.

In other words, she recommends using all the prettiest beads on your current project.

Because you’ll always find more beads, just as pretty and nice, for your next piece.