Yesterday I attended the Writer to Writer event featuring Robin Queen. Going into the event, I wasn’t expecting to have so much in common with a woman who has written an entire book. I wrote her off in my head (pun intended) as an academic and therefor someone who I would not identify with in any way, shape, or form. Her advise about writing would not relate to the type of writing I do or will be doing in the future. She would just be different.
I was wrong. I was so pleasantly surprised at how many times I found myself saying “omg SAME” in my head.
The time this happened was early on in the event. When discussing her early years as a writer, she said one thing she found out early in her writing career was that it “usually looked more brilliant in my head than it did on paper”. That is when I began to engage more closely. I was hooked. I struggle with this often so it was great to hear that even successful professional writers experience this too. I often some great ideas that truly excite me, but then on paper those ideas fall flat. Everything thing changes once you try to piece things together on a page. That is where the brilliance can often become more mundane. It takes working through it many times to get it how you imagined in your head.
That leads me into the second thing she said that resonated with me. The interviewer asked Robin what her favorite thing to is to write, and she replied “a piece that is finished”. Of course, she laughed it of as a joke and gave another answer but her original answer was spot on. Honestly, I feel like I am so focused on making deadlines and just getting things done. It’s not healthy for my writing. I should be writing to write, not to be finished. It will be really interesting to see how my writing changes when I am no longer in school!
Lastly, another piece of advice she gave that I think is really valuable was that being frustrated is not going to you get your writing done. Her struggles with distractions and focus were spot on and very relatable. She noted that you have to control your emotions. I felt this was particularly important for me to keep in mind with my project right now. When I am frustrated I usually just shy away from it, and that isn’t helping the situation at all. I need to stay focused and positive to work through frustrations I may have. The final push is upon us all!