Just Do It

No, this is NOT an advert for them, this is more a statement about chasing your dreams.

A couple of times recently, when I’ve mentioned to people that I’m working my way through a couple of novels, they tend to say “I’ve had a great idea for a story.”

I reply, “Good for you. Write it.”

They always say, “I don’t know where to start.” Or “I don’t have time.”

I try to say, just do it.

Give it a go. Write an outline, write a short story based on your idea, write a character profile, or a monologue from your main character.

One of the exercises from my creative writing course was put two or three characters in a restaurant. One of them leaves to go to use the facilities, write a monologue of what they think about their companions. Write it in first person, in their voice.

Just do it.

Buy a notebook and jot down that excellent piece of dialogue you heard on the bus, or include details of that man who walked down the road barefoot, carrying a cactus, he might make for an interesting character to explore.

If you want to write that book, watch less tv, free up an hour a day or at the weekend. If you really want to, you can find some time even if it takes you two years or more to write it.

Just do it.



This is my J post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge. A list of all my A to Z Blogging Challenge posts are to be found here.

My pictures for today are on another Cat. This time Abe’s sister, Jezebel. She died when only a couple of years old, but she was a right character.

Jezz - in actionJezz - Kitten

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
This entry was posted in A to Z Blogging Challenge, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Just Do It

  1. bronbloxham says:

    Great post Pete! You’re right, it comes down to saying “why not” instead of “why” and just being consistent and patient.

  2. I totally agree. It winds me up a bit when people say they don’t have time for certain things as if they are so much busier than we are, what they really mean is that it isn’t a high enough priority for them, and that’s fine, each to their own, but recognise that it’s about priorities more than about time – I know nobody has unlimited time, but if something is important enough to us we can fit it in (within reason of course). I have a full time job, two kids, I don’t have staff to do my housework or cooking or anything, and I manage to write, and be active in the blogging community, and read books, and do facebook, because those are the things that I choose to do. I don’t watch much TV, I don’t really have other hobbies. When people say they like gardening for instance, I could say “Oh, I don’t have time to do gardening” But it’s all about choices isn’t it. With having kids, they are my main priority or course, and I have limited spare time, but I still manage to work in the things that I want to work in. Oh dear, I seem to be ranting a lot lately…cute cat by the way! πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Vanessa. It’s good to rant. Better out than in. The first one’s free. I do charge after that πŸ™‚

      My hobbies and past times and everything at the moment is around blogging and writing. I would like to have staff though πŸ™‚

  3. EllaDee says:

    Hah! You inspired me πŸ™‚ I’ve started my next blog post. It’s rough but it’s a beginning. I love the idea of the “characters in a restaurant” exercise.

  4. alisonamazed says:

    Cat pics are real winners on the web! πŸ™‚ Writing takes not only time, but also community. Writers need to be surrounded by a supportive community for the other aspects of their lives, because writing can be such an isolating journey. It’s also great when writers get feed back and encouragement πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by my blog during the A-Z.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks for returning the favour. This A to Z Challenge is certainly an interesting challenge. πŸ™‚

      I know my writing group help, encourage and nurture each other as writers. Without their encouragement, I’d find it more of a struggle.

  5. katemsparkes says:

    Yes, thank you! this is what I keep telling people. Don’t wait until you know exactly how to do it perfectly the first time (never going to happen). Don’t wait for the perfect plot, characters, etc. to fall into your lap. Just do it! And when you’re done, do it again!

    • Pete Denton says:

      The trick is probably to do it again. I took part in Camp NaNo last year just to prove to myself that I could write another book. And, I’ll attempt the same thing again later this year. Persistence πŸ™‚

  6. Sue says:

    Did everyone use J is for Just? Your advice is good but not sure how many would take you up on it.

    • Pete Denton says:

      I know. It does fall to priorities and how much you want this whole writing lark. If you want it badly enough you can find the time or stop doing other things to make sure you have that hour a day or free up a morning at the weekend. I’ve certainly found re-prioritising my leisure time rewarding.

  7. It’s good advice. If someone really wants to do something, they’ll surely find or make the time. I realize writing something like a book must seem like a monumental task, but if you just sit down and start somewhere, anywhere . . . I think people believe it has to be perfect on the first go, so I remind those who ask that it’s more than one draft. But you have to start somewhere!

    Adorable cat, btw.

    • Pete Denton says:

      I didn’t realise the drafting that takes place when I wrote my first book. I thought you had to get each line right before moving to the next.

      Now I appreciate the art of drafting and re-working, but you’re right. You need the first draft to do the second.

      She was adorable. πŸ™‚

  8. auntyamo says:

    2013 is the year that I am going to do it! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the encouragement.


  9. noelleg44 says:

    Great post from a fellow mystery writer – you can make up all sorts of excuses not to write!

    • Pete Denton says:

      I still delay writing when I should be straight into it. Blogging or Twitter, a quick check of the sports scores. When I knuckle down I get into the story and back into the routine. Still get distracted by shiny objects …

  10. I think hesitance is the biggest obstacle to any writer (or anyone with a dream). We are hindered by our fears and insecurities, so its up to us to blow right past them as if they were never there. πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      Great point. Obstacles are there for everyone and insecurity is a biggie. I suppose you only overcome that when you get more work out there and people like what they read. I’m hoping so at least πŸ™‚

  11. Viklit says:

    Great post very inspiring. It’s so easy not to do it, somehow, or to let those insecurities stop you.

  12. Right!? I tend to worry that it will be crap so I don’t even start. That is why i am blogging, to get me over the worrying part a little bit. Great post.

    • Pete Denton says:

      I think it’s like anything else. Practice improves your work. I keep seeing something about 1m words means your found your style and voice. Keep plugging away and you’ll get there.

  13. jmmcdowell says:

    You might now get the searchers that used to frequent Robin Coyle’s blog after her “Just Do It” post. πŸ˜‰ She later deleted it because she didn’t like the empty views it generated.

  14. Cindy Dwyer says:

    One of the best lines in your post: “If you want to write that book, watch less tv, free up an hour a day or at the weekend.”

    Too many people fail at writing – or any new hobby, New Year’s Resolution, etc. – because they commit to spending more time doing something, without identifying what they will spent less time doing in return. Unless their hobby involves extending the 24-hour day into 25-hours, they are doomed to fail if they don’t conscious decide what to cut to make room for something new.

    Great post.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks. When I decided I wanted to write more and read more I knew that something had to give. Watching TV is the obvious one for me as we don’t do much else πŸ™‚

      If you want it, you’ll find the time somehow.

  15. Great advice! I love writing to prompts (and also have an instructor who enjoys them). The one you shared looks fun; consider it snagged!

    Cynthia Reed, writing historical fiction set in the Crimean War, 1850s.

  16. Kourtney Heintz says:

    You are 100% right. There is always a reason not to. Every time I say I’m a writer, someone says, I have an idea for a book. I smile and nod. πŸ™‚

  17. Pingback: NaNoWriMo | Pete Denton - Writer

  18. cassmob says:

    Just Do It is the best advice around, whatever you’re writing. I am mainly focused on family history and people regularly put it off until they’ve found “everything” which is like working with changing goal posts. One day I decided that one of my life goals was to write a specific family history and even though it was onerous as I was then working full-time, it was worth it [even more when it won prizes πŸ™‚ ]

    Waiting for the perfect moment is understandable but a form of self-sabotage.

  19. cassmob says:

    And I forgot to say how adorable Jezebel was as an adult and as a kitten.

  20. First off I would like to say excellent blog!
    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Kudos!

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks. You could try writing for the first twenty minutes in the morning, before you eat or drink. Just sit down and try and write about your dreams from the previous night.

      Read a newspaper and pick out a couple of articles and use What If to think up plot points. What if the article about a near miss asteroid event was heading our way? You could write Armageddon the novel!

      I’d also keep a notebook handy. Inspiration will hit you at the strangest times so write it down for later.

      Happy writing πŸ™‚

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