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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Don’t Try; Do

Robert Frost said, “Talking is a hydrant in the yard, and writing is a faucet upstairs in the house. Opening the first takes all the pressure off the second.”

When I ran across the quote from Frost, I smiled, because I have the same philosophy. From time to time “writers” tell me they have ideas for books, I tell them to write the book; don’t tell me their ideas. I intentionally put quotation marks around the word “writers” because quotation marks indicate irony when used outside of direct quotations, and the people who talk about their ideas are talkers, not writers. Talking about an idea drains the energy from the project. It leaves no need to do the hard word of sitting down and writing. Real writers (no quotation marks needed, because no irony intended) sit down and write.

I had the honor of meeting a group of real writers this month, women and men who came from many parts of Georgia to hear me speak at the arts center in Carrollton. When we went around the room introducing ourselves, I was pleased and amazed at the confidence and successes of almost everyone in the room. Only one person was relatively new to writing, and everyone else in the room seemed eager to help her move toward getting published as well. That’s another thing I love about writers; we have no proprietary information and no secrets. We gladly help one another.

Even though almost no one in the room was new to writing, they loved what I spoke about. I did not talk about the basics of writing, which most of us know, but about how to revise a manuscript objectively using my trademarked Find and Refine Method. I won’t go into a sales pitch, but the Find and Refine Method is explained in my book Write In Style and in one of my free reports, which you can receive by sending an e-mail to
freereports@zebraeditor.com.

More important is the fact that everyone in the room was a real writer. No one said, “One day I’m going to write” or “I’ve always wanted to write a book but never had the time” or any of the other excuses I have heard hundreds of times. Instead, they had put their rear ends in a chair and their hands on the keyboard, and they wrote. As a result, they were published. They didn’t try to write; they wrote. I’m impressed.

Many people can spend their time trying to write, but trying never gets anything done. Writers write. I hope you write every day, too.

Yours in writing,
Bobbie Christmas (
Bobbie@zebraeditor.com or bzebra@aol.com )
Author of triple-award-winning _Write In Style_ (Union Square Publishing), owner of Zebra Communications, and director of The Writers Network

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