• Meg Sechrest

The Words Will Be There

Updated: Oct 22, 2019


The words will be there.

I'm asked very frequently who's my inspiration when it comes to my #writing. Anyone that knows me would have already answered Jane Austen. Now that all of you know my #inspiration, you should also know that I tend to sprinkle a little bit of her in every aspect of what I write, whether in style, tone, characterization, world-building, or dialogue. Pride and Prejudice was one of the first books I ever truly loved (still do to this day) and I consider her to be the greatest writer ever.

One of the things I admire about Jane was her patience when it came to her writing. The first draft of her novel Pride and Prejudice (originally titled First Impressions) began in 1797 but would not actually be published until years later. It actually wouldn't be published after another well-known novel of hers, Sense and Sensibility. Sense and Sensibility was accepted for publishing in 1809, almost 11 years after she began writing it. First Impressions (Later to be called Pride and Prejudice) was not published until 1813, which was an impressive 16 years after she began the first draft. Her life and writing has taught me a lot about the way we approach life and publishing today... SLOW DOWN!

(You can read more about Jane Austen's life at JaneAusten.org)


I notice a trend on social media these days about trying to reach "word count goals" and "word sprints". Writers are trying to write their books as quickly and as fast as they can and I'm wondering why? What's the rush? The publishing world isn't going anywhere. Readers aren't going anywhere. Readers have been around for as long as there have been writers and I'm guessing you're more likely to get readers with quality than with rushed crap. There's a huge difference between writing daily and rushing to get a specific word count daily. I write every day. But I never try to reach a specific word count or time every day. I write until the words are gone. These trends on social media are only stifling the flow of words, I believe. I've never tried to do any of these things but have always allowed my writing to come naturally. I write when the words flow, when the thoughts are there rather than trying to force thoughts and words to come, always taking my example from the great Jane Austen, even if that means waiting years for my books to be published. (My book is being published now, but I waited four years for publishing on my Slayer series. Having patience is hard. But it pays off.)


Another trend I'm seeing is all the unhappiness with writing and I wonder if there is a connection. There's so much complaining on Twitter. "I don't want to write my book today..." or "Will someone just write this book for me?" I just stare at it all like... ??? I LOVE writing. I love it so much that it's all I do. I'm a housewife who's made it my job to #write all day long. Why would you not want to write your books? To me, that's like asking "why would you not want to raise your kids?" It doesn't make sense... unless you're exhausted. Exhausted moms need a break and so do exhausted writers.

For those of you who are no longer enjoying writing, I ask #writers to consider a few things:

1. Why are you trying to pump out as many words as quickly as you can?

- In Jane Austen's short 44 years of life, she still managed to write 6 of the greatest novels ever written in the English language. No word sprints, no "word-count goals", just pure writing.

-Is it because you feel as though you are competing with other writers? If so, your motives are wrong and writing isn't the industry for you. Perhaps try a competitive sport.

2. When did your writing turn from writing for satisfaction to writing to meet #deadlines?

-Have you started #querying? if so, maybe give that a break and allow yourself time to breath.

-If you're not querying, perhaps it's to gain followers on social media. Maybe give that a break.

3. Give yourself time to feel the words.

-We live in such a fast-paced society that we feel like just putting anything down on paper (or computer) in good enough to sell. Just because there's Wattpad or Amazon and we can "publish" a book with the click of a button, doesn't mean we should.

Do yourselves a favor; slow your writing down. Think about it, immerse yourselves in it, and when the right time comes, the words will be there.

©MegS

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 © Meg Sechrest 2020

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