There are no guarantees in writing. Thank goodness.

A week or so ago a friend joined our morning writing group. She mentioned she was having trouble with procrastination. I can relate. There are no guarantees in writing. That doesn't limit you. It liberates you!

I think we all can to one degree or another.

This got me to thinking. Always a dangerous proposition in itself. But there are no guarantees in writing. You can read all the “How To” books in the world. When you start that first story you are going in cold. And the only person who can defeat you at the outset….is yourself.

Procrastination is a problem. When asked what was the first thing he did before he started a story, Hemingway said, “I fix the refrigerator.”

It’s a hurdle you are going to have to learn to jump. But once you get past that, once you write the story, there still are no guarantees.

There are no guarantees because there is no correct way to write a story. Some writers work in the morning. Some at night. Some write with pen or pencil. Some use computers. Some drink gallons of coffee to get them through the day. Faulkner opened a whiskey bottle.

There is no protocol when it comes to writing. I think this is one of the biggest artistic strengths a writer has, actually. We all do it differently. What’s more, we all know there are no guarantees the story you wrote will ever see the light of day. Maybe the editor won’t like it. Maybe it’s unpublishable. Maybe, maybe.

Because there are no guarantees, I argue that frees a writer. It does not restrict you. It liberates you. It allows you to take chances and push boundaries you otherwise might not attempt.

After all, what have you got to lose?

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