Monday, June 30, 2014

Just Show Up

By Holly De Herrera


Sometimes all you have to do is show up. Put on your big girl panties (or your big boy underoos). Kind of like me and how I got to conference with only my good looks (not really, but let me dream, okay?). Going to the conference this year was, in my mind, a beginning. Or at least, a beginning again. The theme was just what I needed to hear:  Write Here. Write Now. Make it Happen!

See, this past year we lost our home in the Black Forest Fire and ever since that happened my personal writing goals have been ignored, shoved back beneath the huge list of to-dos, survival tasks and “this is more importants". Do you have something like that? Something that makes writing feel like it’s near impossible? Maybe you’ve had health issues this past year, tragedies you’ve had to face, losses. Or maybe you just had other things that felt more pressing, eminent. Whatever your situation, I believe strongly that if you want to write, you have to fight for it. You have to allow your mind to forget for a minute all that is bothering you, stressing you or overwhelming you and just write. This is a battle. You have to fight!

At the conference I met so many interesting people and was inspired by the fact that no two stories were the same, despite the idea some people put across that there is no original story. And after talking with so many I realized, also, that every one of us has a challenge we have to overcome in order to write. It’s never just easy and natural. But doesn’t any good thing, any lasting thing, require effort, vision, determination and hard work? I was reminded that I need to quit making excuses and start working toward my goals again. 

But sometimes there’s something that has to happen first; you have to get there. I’m finding that when I show up, things happen. And when I show up regularly, magical things occur. Going to the conference was my symbolic kick in my own rear. It was my way of putting a stake in the earth and yelling, “I’m back and I have things to say and life isn’t going to keep me from doing what I love!” Have you taken a stand? Have you yelled at your demons and told them who’s in charge? Well, if not, and even if you missed the conference, you still can. What’s stopping you? Is your dream to write something that will move, change, inspire or challenge people? Well, you have to show up. 

Find a day, pick a time and set a regular date with yourself to write. Even if it’s just one day, one hour a week, you’re taking that step and you’ll start building momentum. Take it from me, a homeschooling mother of five who works from home for an online school and is a freelance writer for two different publishing companies. If I can do it, so can you. And I wrote my first 400-page novel by doing just that, writing one day a week for one hour. Just put it on your calendar. Don’t plan other things during that time. Consider it an ongoing appointment and then just write. At first it might seem like you don’t have a creative thought in your brain. Don’t worry. You do, you just are out of  shape (not your butt, your brain) and you need to get into the groove. The following week will be easier and the one after that even more natural and before you know it, you’ll be meeting goals, marking milestones and then you’ll find yourself being consistent and productive. Imagine it! 

So do what you have to do, fight for those few writing minutes and start putting pencil to paper now. No one else is going to tell your story and no one else will tell it quite like you will. So make it happen. Write here. Write now.

About the Author:  Holly De Herrera is a homeschooling mother of five, married to her best friend and known by her family as one who laughs a lot.  Holly loves writing about settings around the world, her very favorite being Turkey where she lived for five years as a child.  Currently she writes for Cook Communications and Good Catch Publishing and in her personal time is putting the final touches on a middle grade mystery entitled The Root Cellar Mystery.    



  1. If only we all followed this straightforward advice, Holly. I still end up binge writing to get things done when I could be so much easier on myself.

  2. The kick in the pants I needed. Thank you, Holly!

  3. What a great reminder and inspiration. Thanks, Holly!


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