“GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES”

If you regularly read this blog, you would know that the first rewrite process was supposed to begin this month.  Unfortunately, my engine failed to turn over at the starting line.  The best intentions have hit a temporary roadblock.

Gleaning from the experience of published authors, the hardest element of writing involves simply starting.  Once you begin, the desire to write becomes stronger.  Taking a breath last month resulted in a longer pause than expected. I didn’t start rewriting until the end of November.

Although I relapsed, I actively did research plus signed up for two classes next year.  One involved creative writing, as I continue to improve my technique.  The other involved the process of getting a book published.  Still, I didn’t write.

For October, my all-male book club read The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs, a book I highly recommend.  The story explored the life of a boy who grew up in the Orange Township ghetto of Newark, New Jersey.  Although faced with unbelievable obstacles, he attended Yale University majoring in molecular biophysics and biochemistry.  The tragedy involved his early death.

In one phase of his life, Robert Peace taught and noticed a student who lacked motivation.  The pupil half-hardily participated on the school’s water polo team.  Looking the young man directly in the eye, Robert Peace declared, “You’re not making it hard.”  The student didn’t understand what he meant.  Peace then explained, “If you go into something, you better make it hard.  Otherwise, what’s the point?”  The pupil still remained puzzled.  “Look, anything you do, if it isn’t hard, it isn’t doing anything for you.  So you’re better off not doing it.  Use your time somewhere else.”

For me the comments resonated.  Unlike my initial conception, placing words upon a page requires effort and determination.  I want my trilogy to reflect an honest effort.  Good enough to invoke mystery and enjoyment.  I am not attempting to write a Nobel Prize winner, but simply a good read.  Achieving this goal requires more diligence and hard work than I imagined.

I finally turned the ignition key and started the engine.  Its purr brought a smile to my face.

2 Comments

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2 responses to ““GENTLEMEN, START YOUR ENGINES”

  1. Judy Harris

    What is the saying, “When the student is ready the teacher appears”? When the time was right for you to begin writing. Again, the inspiration appeared. Glad things are progressing and thank you for continuing to let us follow as you continue your challenging journey. Judy and Jon

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  2. Hi, Mark,
    I’ve had much less writing time this month and last too! When I do finally get the time, I find myself slogging in a way I haven’t before. I think your “diagnosis” is right on the money: By not writing frequently enough, the engine doesn’t turn over as well. Michele’s recovery from hip surgery is well along now, I got the biweekly blog post up (after four weeks!), my sister’s Thanksgiving visit and all the rigamarole of buying a mobile home for her is done, and my holiday letter is nearly ready for printing. So, back to the novel! Thanks for motivating me, and giving me a way to view my sluggishness!

    Bill

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