Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just Do It

A children's song floats in the background as I read over my email. My taste in music is eclectic and sometimes even I have no explanation for how some songs get on my playlist.

"Do as I'm doing,
Follow, follow me.

Do as I'm doing,
Follow, follow me
If I do it high or low
If I do it fast or slow
Do as I'm doing,
Follow, follow me."

Here, at a writer's conference, there are many successful authors delivering that same message. They phrase it slightly differently: "You should do this. This works for me."

We rush to copy those whose methods we admire. We pull out our manuscripts and "follow follow" as best we can. The different methods and methodologies, the multiple rules of each genre, the quirks and habits of writers we admire and aspire to meet on equal footing.

"You have 98 books? Why, my 153rd just went to the publisher's last week."
"Oh, wow!" says the currently best selling award winning author who will not be as impressed or intimidated by this as the dream scenario indicates. "Would you sign a copy for me? I just love your writing."

As we day dream of incandescent success, as we learn how other writers write, and as we mutilate our own manuscripts trying to write in someone else's words there comes a moment when we realize what these wonderful teachers really mean.

Do as I'm doing -- follow, follow the ideas, talents, dreams God gave you.
Do as I'm doing -- follow, follow the advice that works with who you are as a writer.
If you do it high or low, If you do it fast or slow
If it's what you're born to do
Do as I'm doing -- and DO it!

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