With apologies to Kristen Lamb, I have some bad news for you. You are alone.
Like all of us here in ROW80, you chose to become a writer. Now you must live up to that decision. You have to accept that no one else can go on this journey in your place. No one else can take your risks for you. You have to put yourself out there. You have to put your words and your thoughts out for the world to see.
You have to write.
I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but now that you’ve chosen to be a writer, you have to settle down and you have to write. Some call this “Bottom in Chair, Fingers on Keyboard”, and you should wake up every morning with this as your mantra. You want to write (you must, you’ve chosen to join a writing challenge), so it makes sense that you should write.
But what about my fellow ROWers, you ask? Well, if you want to know a dirty little secret, they’re in the same boat as you. As wonderful and supportive as your fellow ROWers will be, they can’t do this for you. We cannot do this for you. We cannot write your words. We can write our own, but not yours. You have to do that.
We’ll cheer you on. We’ll offer our shoulders when things get difficult. But we can’t give life to your words. We can do a lot of things for you: share ideas for stories, do beta readings, recommend agents and publisher and pass along the latest market news. We can even perhaps meet you when you come to town and laugh over cakes and coffees. We can do so much for you.
But we can’t put those words into a permanent form. We can’t given a concrete image to your thoughts.
We cannot write for you.
But the good news is, you can! You can write those ideas, the way you puzzled over the waiter’s expression when you ordered the red snapper, the way the sky turned a brilliant crimson and slate-gray this evening so intense you knew a storm was coming in your main character’s world. You can do it, one word at a time.
And you know what else?
You are not alone. We’re here. We’re doing it with you. Each of us, putting down our words one at a time, one after another after another after…
We’re all solitary writers… in this together. And we are not alone.