I spent my weekend working against a deadline. I left work about 4 p.m. on Friday, made the quick drive home, got out my Macbook, and worked pretty much straight through to 11:30 Monday morning. Yes, I slept, but not as much as I would have liked. I spent most of this time either on my living room sofa or in bed, watching a variety of movies on Netflix instant, in my PJ's, not bothering with the frivolities of makeup or a hair straightener. I often have people tell me, with a dreamy gleam in their eye, that they'd like to write a book someday. But stripped of its pomp and glamour, writing is work. Plain and simple. You sit, you write—sometimes for hours, sometimes for days. Although I've had people argue that writing is a social activity, it's not for me. It's hours alone, with as few distractions as possible, my mind immersed in a story. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but the act of writing and perfecting a novel is not necessarily a beautiful thing.
If you've always wanted to be a writer, then I have one simple piece of advice for you: WRITE. Really, there's not more to it than that. In high school, I was the girl who always carried around a notebook scribbling out her stories. As an adult, I tote my laptop around most everywhere. Like anything, writing takes practice. The more you write, the better you'll get at it. It's a tricky thing, though, if you think about it. The only thing keeping you writing is you—and the only thing keeping you from writing is you. There's a devotion there, an intrinsic motivation, that must be observed. You have to push yourself to stay on track. You have to want it more than you've ever wanted anything, and force yourself to keep going even if you fail. No one else is going to do it for you, and no one else is going to want it for you. Don't sit around and wait for inspiration to strike, because that may never happen. Pick up your pen or computer or whatever, and put some words down. Because like it or not, the only one standing in your way is you.