Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

Are You Writing “On the Way Down”?


“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

—Kurt Vonnegut

Kimber here. Mom is still trying to figure out where June went. And here we are, halfway through September! You know Mom is always trying to figure something out, right? The weather. Time travel. Splitting the atom. How some people get elected to office… But anyway…

While Mom’s trying to figure that out, can we agree that fall is Seriously Awesome? You know. Like me!

“But fall comes at a price,” says Her Momness: “A sigh and a sense of loss – always flavored with amazement. As in, Where, oh where, did summer go?”

 When You Aren’t Lookin’

Mom says it’s easy to say the same about writing. In fact, if you’re reading this you’re probably a book lover. And most book lovers we know are also writers. You know. Also Seriously Awesome. So this one’s for you.

As in, why do writers so often sigh and say, summer-like, I was going to finish chapter twenty-two today, but…  I haven’t actually finished the proposal… I planned to, but… thought about… talked about… considered… Well, maybe…

Yet the novel, article, story, essay, or outline sit on your desk or in your hard drive unfinished. Poised to creep out the back door when you aren’t lookin’.

Flush and Unfinished

Some writers we know are flush with ideas and unfinished manuscripts.  They talk about writing in sentences punctuated with “one of these days” and “when I get around to it” or “when it slows down some.”

Truth?  If you’re waiting to write until you “have time” or life “slows down some,” chances are you never will.

You Know Why

So, why do some writers have so many unfinished writing projects scattered about, collecting one or more layers of dust?  You know why.

If they work on their writing project, they might finish it.  And if they finish it they may have to do something with it.  And that involves risk.  It’s not easy seeing the work you’ve labored over so long and lovingly returned with a “thanks but no thanks” form letter or ignored altogether.

It Takes Guts

Writing takes not only perseverance and discipline, it takes guts.  Risk is part of the territory.  Staying off the cliff is safe, but you’ll never develop your wings on the way down.

Summer has melted like a popsicle in September.  Don’t let your writing get away from you like summer did.  Stop talking about writing and write.  Not tomorrow.   Not some day.  Now.  You can do it.

Are you gonna eat that?

What writing project will you finish today?

Or as Vonnegut might put it, How are your wings?


2 thoughts on “Are You Writing “On the Way Down”?

  1. Thank you for this post. It convicted to me and encouraged me. Time to quit making excuses and get back to writing!
    Where in the Pacific Northwest do you live if you don’t mind me asking?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s