January 10, 2012

Steve Pomper

Writing is a Time Machine

author photoseattle curiosities

Whenever I have time to kill, and my options are boredom or wasting time, I just hop into my time machine. Well, I don’t exactly hop into it, as if it were some actual, physical machine I keep in the attic or basement of my house. In reality, I can bring my time machine anywhere I go. In fact, it comes in different forms, depending on where I am at a particular time. Desktop, laptop, or pen and pad. They all are able to transport writers with equal efficiency.

What the heck am I talking about, transporting writers? Writing is my time machine. And if nothing else tells you what you should be doing for a living, when you can sit down for what seems a minute, and you find an hour has passed, God is telling you something.

This also falls under the category: Time flies when you’re having fun. Sounds like Confucius agreed when he said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Now, this doesn’t mean that you won’t expend effort, feel stress, or suffer setbacks. You will. We all do. But it does mean that in an overarching life sense, the satisfaction that comes from doing what you’re meant to do cannot be equaled.

I know that in order to become successful in the writing biz it requires a great commitment, which pushes and pulls you in many directions. First and foremost is the product itself. You must create a product to sell, if your intent is to become a professional writer. Learn the craft of writing then endeavor to develop the art of writing. In other words, write, learn to write, and then continue to write.

But today writers cannot neglect the business end of writing. Developing a web presence, a platform, if you will, is important. And, of course, you must continue to send out manuscripts to agents, editors, and publishers. And if you’re an article writer, or you’re an author who also writes articles, you need to send off many queries. As it goes, you might only get one bite after casting out fifty lines. The same goes if you write short stories. You have to put it out there to get it out there.

The point is, no one’s going to come and get it from you. You have to get yourself out there and then keep yourself out there. When my alarm goes off at 5:00 AM, all I want to do is roll over, burrow my head back into my pillow, and get back to my dream research. But, and this may sound corny, I actually ask myself, “How badly do you want it?” Want what? I want to write for a living. I don’t even answer. I just get up and I write.

And this is when the time machine takes me. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing. I’m transported. When I’m writing, it’s almost as if I’m entranced. I love diving into and then swimming in the words. Creating something out of nothing, and then going back and taking out, and putting in, and changing, or tossing the whole thing out and starting again. By the time I get set up at my desk, my morning ally in a mug at the ready, my classical music barely breaking the stillness, it’s usually ten or fifteen minutes past the hour.

I begin writing. Maybe I’m working on a novel or a book. Perhaps I’m writing a blog, a column, or an article. Whatever it is, I become so enthralled in the process, the first time I look at the clock, inevitably at least forty-five minutes to an hour has passed. It really doesn’t even matter the amount of time that’s passed. The point is, whatever the amount, it feels like only moments have passed, when in actuality it’s likely to be four to five times as much.


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