The Burn

The Burn


            So much of writing is…well…not as inspired as it could be. Those of you who spent your time spinning words into tales of love, adventure, and suspense know what I mean. You have the story in your head, you know where you want to go with it, know exactly how it is going to end. You understand when to make the pressure within the story build and just when to make that final climatic scene. It is all there inside your head, mapped out and ready to go. It is perfect.

            It is also something else. Work! Yeah, I said it. We all write and, for those of us who haven’t yet made it, we have one thing in mind. I don’t want to work. I want to write for a living. That euphoria wears off pretty quickly when it is finally drilled into your thick skull that writing is work. Writing twenty to a hundred thousand words is really not all that hard. But writing that many good words is very difficult even when you have the story mapped out in your head. It can be a struggle to make what you know in your head translate to the pages in front of you. Then, when you finally get there, then you have to go back and edit. As every writer knows, editing is no more exciting though every bit as essential as weeding a garden. If you don’t pluck the weeds from your manuscript, it will never be a story.

            Now, that being said, I know I make it sound as if there is no reward in writing. It is, of course, not true. Bringing a good story home is awesome and well worth the effort despite all the hard work. It is very gratifying.

            But it is not the best part. There is another part, the early part, the part when the story is new, still developing in your head, well before it is “mapped” out that is the most exciting time of the writing process. While working on my latest writing project, I wrote this in my notes:

New update 2-2-13. This fucking thing is taking shape, coming to life inside of me.


            It’s the burn of a new story, a new idea, and, for a writer, more exhilarating than anything imaginable. It is like chasing after you first ever love and that feeling you get when you know that what you want is just around the corner.

            I write some things and never get The Burn, but when I do, oh man I wish I still smoked. It is just that good.  

            Do your stories make you burn?


Tim Keen


Happy Birthday, Gran.

Rest In Peace




About timkeen40

When I was seven, I opened one of those little Golden Books (Lassie) and started copying the words down on paper and it set my soul on fire. I have been writing ever since. I don't know where this is going but I invite you along on the journey.
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26 Responses to The Burn

  1. meiro says:

    This is really interesting post thank you for sharing.

    All best,

  2. The Hook says:

    Magnificent post, buddy. Your work has evolved by leaps and bounds. Good on ya, Tim!

  3. Anna Scott Graham says:

    This is really just IT, the work point, as well as The Burn. Writing is a hell of a lot of work, but man, the rewards are so authentic, and so lasting. What’s also funny about this post is how much my husband loves weeding his garden, the same sort of tedious but essential effort. Fantastic post!

    And thanks for following my blog. 🙂

  4. you caught that feeling perfectly. I understand.

  5. I know that feeling. I have a poem in my head but by the time it gets to paper it’s just not right.

    And it IS hard work, but we love it; that’s why we do it.

  6. prenin says:

    I agree Tim! 🙂

    My first two books were written for fun, with no plans to publish them, while the third was written to complete the trilogy last year.

    There’s a fourth on the back burner that needs a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to wrestling it into shape!

    Even if I fail to produce anything that is worthy of publication it’s still fun and I’m going to enjoy the process! 🙂

    Have a lot of fun and success my friend! 🙂

    God Bless!


  7. Mary says:

    Well Tim, I’d say your burn is my endorphin rush – congratulations! It’s that good.

    That’s what I’m talking about – love your post!

  8. Tim we all of us write because we just cant help but create with words… keep putting those words down one by one and Hey presto…. a Story is Born… xox

  9. prenin says:

    Hi Tim! 🙂

    Just caught your comment! 🙂

    Yes, mom and pop will be proud when their little darlings get around to hacking Banks instead of multiplayer computer games…:)

    God Bless!


  10. Tammy says:

    I know that feeling and the reason I know and appreciate it is because it’s not a constant. I lose it and then, when on a walk or somewhere an unexpected trigger causes it to reappear. Love the burn.

  11. Sara v says:

    Tim, you really nailed the writing process! The part that no one really talks about, and it’s so true. I thought I wanted to be a writer of novels and then after two manuscripts I was exhausted–lots of fun ideas–the burn is a blast, but it flamed out in me–now I find my bliss in poetry (didn’t intend to rhyme, but poets do…) 🙂 Really enjoyed this, feel like it should be posted in bookstores everywhere. And thank you very much for the visit to my blog!

  12. suzicate says:

    Boy do I ever relate to this post!

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