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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Writing a Bike, er, Book

Riding a bike is a lot like writing a book.

I was less than five years old when I got my first bike. It was a green J. C. Higgins complete with set of red training wheels. It was back in the day when Dad was superintendent of a six floor walk up, and an alley, concrete sidewalks, and city streets were my playground. It is where I learned to ride that bike.

After weeks of riding practice and Dad saying you can do it Linda; keep peddling Linda, my golden day to ride my bike on my own arrived. My dad removed those red training wheels, and gosh, I couldn't believe it, just as he promised, I was a bike rider.

I will never forget as I teetered along on two wheels how when Dad held me by the seat of my pants, and gave me a gentle push, his words, you can do it Linda, echoed my brain and propelled me forward.


I was off.

I wobbled.

But, I didn't fall.

Looking back, I realize it was because of Dad and the confidence he had instilled in me that helped make it happen. Because of my dad's faith in me, his gentle encouragement and coaching, I peddled, steered, remained focused, and conquered any fear of falling off that bike.

Writing a book is a lot like riding a bike.

We must commit to writing practice and stick with it every day to improve our craft;

writing a book is a solo process and requires self-discipline, determination and focus to get the job done.

And, it requires we continue under all circumstances--no matter what.

Often, when facing a blank page, I sometimes think I can't squeeze out one more word, one more line, or one more semi colon, because fear someone will misinterpret my words, will not like what I say, and perhaps someone will read my words and hate them. Worse, I fear that person will criticize me, perhaps sit me down and scream it at me in a crowded terminal for all the world to hear.

It happens.

And when it does, I am hurt. And for days, months and more, it leaves me dizzy thinking I did that? On those days when I do allow life to get in my writing way, I think about Dad, that 22" green bike, and set of red training wheels, and I remember his velvet voice spurring me on saying Linda you can do it.

...And then, whaddyaknow, I'm not afraid *of anything* any more.

Writing Tip:

Keep writing under all circumstances. Avoid negative criticism. If someone says something that turns your world upside down, and you fall off your writing. Get back on. Write it out. After a page or two, get back to the task of writing your book.

Writing Quote:

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."--The Wizard

Dear Writer,

What motivates you to face the blank screen?
What propels your fast writing pen to speed across the page?

Go ahead. Write it.

I dare you.

Until this time next time.

See you in print

Linda Della Donna

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