The Gospel of Writing According to Marilyn, Chapters 7-8

by : Marilyn Schwader

The Gospel of Writing According to Marilyn, Chapter 7: Ninety-five percent of Writing is Just Showing Up

If I were to ask each of you why you haven't written a book, I'm guessing the most common answer would be that there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day. There are people with children, businesses, extended families, and any other life picture you can imagine. Yet, they are published authors who had the same life as you, and they were able to write their book. What's the difference?

I believe that the fundamental difference is how much you value what you have to say. And that stems from how you value yourself. So, make yourself your highest priority. Schedule an hour a day when you do nothing but sit down to write. Block the time out in your calendar. Let the people in your life know that it's sacred time for you. Don't give in to the pressure that you will feel when you are making these changes for yourself.

You will be amazed at how much you can write in an hour's time. When you consistently write each day, you will make significant progress in your manuscript and in your mastery of the writing craft.

The Gospel of Writing According to Marilyn, Chapter 8: Passion is the Fuel That Propels the Writing Engine.

One of my favorite authors is historical fiction writer Sharon Kay Penman. The historical period she writes about is the Middle Ages and she creates incredible romantic stories using actual people and events. She is a truly remarkable writer. Her most famous work is titled The Sunne in Splendour, about the reign of King Richard III. The novel is nearly 1,000 pages of very dense, imaginative, and historically accurate writing.

The fascinating part of Penman's story is that she wrote the novel while studying law. Even more amazing is that after she had finished writing the novel, she put the only copy of the manuscript in her briefcase (she had written it on a typewriter, before computers) and put it in her car. When she returned, someone had broken into her car and stole the briefcase. Having no other copy, she started again and rewrote the entire novel!

That, my friends, is an example of having a passion that propels the writing engine.

Does writing ever feel difficult? Definitely. If you want to write — really write — nothing anyone says or does will stop you. So have courage, feel the passion. Allow the words to come out. No writer is born a master. There will always be revisions. Find that fire within, stoke it, build the flames, and keep adding fuel. It will drive your writing engine.