Welcome to Kicking the Pants, a blog for struggling writers by a struggling writer. The goal of this blog is to provide a weekly boot to the butt to motivate you and me (mostly me) to get writing and keep writing.
Wait, you’re a struggling writer just like me. Why should I listen to you?
Fair question. True, we are both struggling writers, but I am not just like you. You’re walking the path at your own pace, following the writers ahead and leading the writers that follow you. I might be a little further down the path than you are, and maybe I can share something that will help you catch up.
Then again, maybe you’re further down the path than me, and you can help me (and others) catch up. I hope you will, and I hope this blog becomes a conversation between us.
To really flog the metaphor, maybe we’re on parallel, yet slightly different, paths. Looking across the median, you might find my trail looks easier and jump over. Or you can show me how much better your road is, and help me (and others) cross to you.
So what made you decide to start this blog?
I’ve been walking this path for two decades now, and I’ve also had unique chances to talk to writers much further along than either of us when I was a greenhorn editor for Writer’s Digest Books way back when. I’ve also talked to editors and agents, and learned to see my work from their perspective.
Recent events have made me realize that I’ve had a lot of help along the way from people whom I can’t possibly pay back. So I’m trying to pass along what I’ve learned to others in an attempt to pay it forward.
“Pay it forward”? Isn’t that a bit cliché for a blog about writing?
Perhaps, considering the concept has been around since 317 BCE. It’s a good practice, though. Maybe that’s why it’s been around so long.
What do you get out of this?
I’m not entirely selfless. In addition to paying it forward, I’m also doing this because I found it gives me a kick in the writing pants. When I share what I know about writing, it makes me want to write more. It gets the juices flowing, warms up the writing muscles. Flexes my Muse’s uvula so she can sing sweet story ideas to me.
More importantly, what will I get out of this?
Writing tips, advice, and inspiration. I also hope to share some interviews with published authors I know, and I’ll be recommending books from time to time–novels I like, plus books I’ve found motivational.
For example, two books no writer should be without are On Writing by Stephen King, and Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing. King’s book is fantastic to have on hand for days when you feel like you can’t do it and will never do it. Leonard’s rules will help sharpen your prose and make your stories more compelling. Both have been enormously helpful to me.
I’ll probably have more to say about those two books and others in the future. If you don’t have that pair on your shelf, though, you’re missing two key tools from your writer’s toolbox.
Primarily, however, what you’ll get from this blog is a kick in the pants. If you’re like me, you struggle with days (weeks, months, years) where your writing energy is next to nothing. Maybe it’s on the far side of nothing. I aim to change that and get you writing again.
And I hope you’ll do that same for me.