Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Escape Your Writing Cave By Marie Wells Coutu

Writers write.
Maybe NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has you barricaded into your writing space, pounding away on the computer keyboard and churning out your next work of literary genius.

The familiar adage of BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) works. Any writer who’s serious about his or her craft needs to follow that advice. When you have a deadline to complete a novel, whether it’s self-imposed or by contract, the only way to finish is to keep at it.

But there is a time for everything. Even during NaNoWriMo or when under deadline, it’s good to take some time away from writing and not feel guilty about it.

Too often, I find myself putting off other things I could be doing—family activities, exercise, visiting a sick friend—in order to “write.” Then I pour the guilt on myself for not doing those things. But if I do take time away from writing, in creeps resentment because I’m not writing.

Never mind that I sabotage my writing time with Facebook, Solitaire, or TV. I accept the blame for those times, but that doesn’t keep me from jealously guarding my time, while also feeling guilty about the “good deeds” I don’t do.

I repeat, a serious writer must spend time writing and guard against time-stealers. But there are occasions when we have to come out of our writing cave.

The other day, I finally took the time to visit a friend who’s in a nursing home. She loves to read, so I bring her books from my stash as often as I can. I confess to being grateful when I find her napping so I don’t feel guilty about dropping off the books and leaving. But I know how much it means to her to have someone take the time to talk. So this time I did.

As I drove home afterward, I realized how much I had enjoyed the visit. I had learned more about her life, episodes that may even find their way into a book in the future. And I resolved not to feel resentment when spending time with other people takes away from my writing time. If I allow myself some time for such things, I’ll have no need to feel guilty about the hours that I do spend writing.

Here’s my new motto: Don’t let word count stop you from doing what counts. After all, if I am called to write books that show God’s love to a fallen world, shouldn’t I also be willing to demonstrate that love to individual people in my world?

About the Author

Marie Wells Coutu
Marie Wells Coutu’s newest novel, The Secret Heart, from Write Integrity Press, was named a finalist in both the 2018 National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Awards and the 2018 Royal Palm Literary Awards sponsored by Florida Writers Association. Her debut novel, For Such a Moment, won the Books of Hope Contest. Thirsting for More, the second book in the series was a finalist in the Selah Awards Contest and a semi-finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Awards. An unpublished historical novel set near Golden Pond has been a finalist in five contests.

The Secret Heart by Marie Wells Coutu
You can find more about Marie and her novels on her Facebook page (Author Marie Wells Coutu), at her website (MarieWellsCoutu.com), or follow her on Twitter (@mwcoutu) or on Amazon.com.

Marie is a regular contributor to Seriously WriteFor more posts by Marie, click here.