Thursday, October 7, 2010

Everything I Know I Learned from John Lennon

This week, October 9th, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the birth of Beatle John Lennon. (70? Really? Yikes!)

About ten or twelve years ago I attended an SCBWI conference for writers who felt they were "on the cusp" of being published. I was not yet a published author, but I was a writer who took what I did seriously. I had received some "good" rejections from editors (you really have to be a writer to appreciate what that means)and encouragement from my much-valued critique group. It WAS going to happen. I could feel it.

That weekend being with other writers also on the cusp was a wonderful experience. But one woman stood out in my mind. The talk turned to how disciplined we all had to be to get our writing time in. She sighed and said, "Yes, but then you have to be in the mood." I knew immediately that she wasn't going to make it.

You see, she was waiting for her writing to come to her. It doesn't work that way. Oh, I know, sometimes writing can be a chore. And the fear that your mind will draw that dreaded blank is ever-present. But, mood or not, what carries most of us through is simply that we love to write. We sit, we begin, and somehow, the clouds part, the weight lifts, and the words come. Over and over, we rediscover just how much we love what we do. John Lennon knew this. "All you need is love," he wrote. It's that love that entices us to sit and get the job done, no matter the mood.

That's what you need to be a writer. All you need is love.

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