I mean this: good and sometimes great things happen when you write. Equally, if you don’t write, then good things don’t happen. Only, I don’t mean that if you write a wonderful script then it gets filmed or a great book and it gets published. I’m finding that there isn’t necessarily even a tiny connection between what you’re writing and what happens.
Yet I have patches where I’m rubbish and I don’t take the time to write. These lead into spirals where I write even less. They’re also tied into when I do and don’t get up at 5am to work but all that early rising does is get me some time to write. Then when I write, whatever time it is, good things happen.
Yesterday, for instance, I was asked to collaborate on a book. The request didn’t exactly come out of nowhere but it did near as dammit. I wasn’t expecting it and it’s got nothing to do with what else I’m working on, but it’s a great idea, I want to work with the person who asked me, ultimately I just really, really want to read the book. So we should write it and I hope we will.
In this case, I think I can point to specific things: the woman who asked me knows I write books because I’ve told her and she knew I’d be interested in the subject because she’s known me for more than seven seconds. She’s also fully aware of my tea and chocolate problems. Plus she knows of a years-long project that died on me a few weeks ago so she even knew I had some availability.
I need to tell you those specific things because I need specific things. I loathe that I’m about to say to you that you have a certain energy when you write but, well, here goes: you have a certain energy when you write. I think it’s just the same way that, I believe, we are all at our most vibrant and attractive when we’re working: we’re making things happen, we’re performing really, and, yes, there is an energy.
So on days when I’ve been writing and then I meet people, I seem to get work. On days when I’ve chosen to sleep in and I’ve not got much done, I don’t.
It’s very easy to not write. It’s especially easy when you’re under pressures: I’ve had many times over the years where I’ve found it fantastically, overwhelmingly hard to write up a story idea when the mortgage is due. Yet every single thing I am doing now to keep the roof over my head began as something I wrote on the side while doing some other job. In every sense, my entire career is based on my writing.
I’m not going to make any grand claims for my career, not when I’ve so much to do and I am so far behind, but I can tell you that it is the career I wanted and that I worked for. And I can tell you that writing this to you today is why I’m confident that I will bound into a workshop I’m running all day. I’ll bound in, I’ll cause a ruckus and I’ll bound out.
Stop listening to me and go write something, okay?