08 February

Grow Your Writer Grit...


Remember back…

When your parents made you do some back-breaking chore that was dirty and awful and boring, and you felt was a complete waste of time, but to get your allowance, you kept that verbal goodie to yourself, and did it anyway?

Remember less far back…

When a university prof made you do a pathetically meaningless assignment, and made it into a compulsory group project (ugh), and you faked smiled at your team, dug in, became the group leader, assigned chores, to get that pissy project done and dusted in lightning speed?

Remember yesterday…

When you woke up, feeling like crap — a Covid side contagion more virulent these days than the coronavirus itself — and you couldn’t even force yourself to look at your laptop, much less write on that endless book of yours?

So, today, I ask…

What happened to your Grin & Bare It Grit?

  • You had it when you were 8.
  • You had it when you were 18.
  • Where did you put it at 28, 38, 48, and 58?

I hate to dent the romantic notion newbie writers have about full time writing… (but I will, you know I will…) a writing career has more to do with digging ditches in a cold rain than it has to do with sun-kissed beaches and smoking jackets worn by a crackling fire.

The digging is daily. The mind exhaustion is daily.

It’s mind-breaking, clumsy work, whereby you spill truckloads of prosaic crap onto the page to discover a few good gems.

And even when you finish a work, you’re never finished. The world always demands the next book from you that you haven’t even started yet.

And accolades maybe years in the achieving, kind of like when Tom Hanks was forced to do Faberge shampoo commercials before being a superstar. And the odds of you and your work going from Tom Hanks Zero to Zenith aren’t even looking that good.

As a kid, you knew hard work had its own reward. By age 8, you knew patience was indeed a virtue.

So, I ask you…

Where is your growing grit around being a writer?

You know writing is beyond hard.

You know you’ll screw up, learn, grow, and screw up some more.

But is there anything more satisfying than to have weathered that literary storm, and come out the other end better than whole?

If you answer, "No, there isn’t," then you need to find a way to grow that grit you’ve had in you since you weeded your mom’s garden, and those bloody dandelions came back the next day, twice as big.

Some things in life are just plain back-breaking, and they get you frustrated, and they put you down in the muck and mire, fighting tooth and nail to make prosaic goo read great.


What would you do, that would satisfy you more, if not write? All that avoiding activity you're doing right now is making you feel worse. How 'bout trying to write, and feel better?

HOMEWORK: Go have a shower. Put on some fightin’ clothes. Brew a pot of strong tea or coffee. Plunk yourself down at your desk, INHALE DEEPLY, and get in that ring, ready to word rumble! And do all this NOW. No. not tomorrow. NOW.

Nobody, especially me, ever said being a writer would be a trip. And if it were, you’d end up being in the Slow Lane on the Scenic Tour from Hell for the foreseeable future. It’s just part and parcel of the fight to be a great artist. There’s your cup of reality. Go sup.

  • Weeding the lawn.
  • Digging a ditch.
  • Washing dishes by hand ‘cause the dishwasher broke.
  • Mopping floors.
  • Washing walls.
  • Scrubbing toilets.
  • Writing your book

Right? Am I right?

You know I'm right.

 This is Gary Grit. he has it goin' on...

No comments: