We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

― Winston Churchill

I, like most writers belong to several writing groups, some in person and several online.  In the online groups I guard my time and participation carefully.  It’s easy to spend too much time debating and pontificating about the subject at hand, writing.  Which you aren’t doing if you spend all your time online sharing the rules, guidelines, suggestions, points of view, craft tips, and techniques of the writer with others, usually also unpublished authors.

Do I have anything against unpublished authors?  No , I do not, especially since I am published, but not how I’d like to be published.  Wrong genre.

Oh, I guess I need to write the book that will get me published in the category where I’d like to be published.  That might be helpful.

I totally understand the need for social media and making connections with like-minded people with similar aspirations.  But what I do not understand is the alleged aspiring author who gets on a loop and solicits advice about writing and generally keeps the group stirred up with conflicting advice, comments and questions while usually hardworking authors waste their time advising the non-writing aspirant with solicited advice and information. As soon as someone tells the manipulator to start writing, they are dropped from the conversation.

What the rest of us know, in our hearts and in our heads is that writers write.  Yes, it’s that simple; writers write, usually every day.  I count editing as writing since those of us who seriously pursue the craft understand that good books are not written but re-written.

Steve, a fictional person on a fictional site much like Lunked In, has asked for advice on starting his first book.  He has been given pearls of wisdom from myriad resources available to the blessed few, and has also been offered ideas, free critiques, an opening passage, assistance from professional editors, writing coaches, teachers of creative writing, professional editors, and published authors along with other gems of wisdom not available to the usual suspects who sit down to begin their first book.  And I have a fifty dollar bill in my purse to bet he hasn’t even written a word.

The question is, does he ever intend to write?

My heart says yes, because I know it’s hard to start, but my head says no, because I know it’s a lot more interesting to receive strokes of affection, pearls of wisdom and well wishes from complete strangers rather than doing the hard thing;  writing the book.

Steve, this pearl of wisdom is just for you.  Write the damn book already.