Tuesday, May 19, 2015

So I hear these things from other writers quite a bit...

1. That it is difficult to find time to write.

Well, this is what I have to say about that.  I do not believe you.  I know a guy, whose life is so crazy the only time he can write is to wake up at 4 am and write till 6am.  That's it, two hours, five days a week.  The weekends are just too hectic for him to get that time.

You know what he does?

He get's his butt up at 4am to write.  Some people workout that early and writing after all is a workout for your mind.

My point, there is always time.

What I think is really happening, is fear takes over.  Fear of writing crap.  Fear of sitting in front of the screen for two hours with nothing to show for it.  Fear of failure.  Fear of not being "good" enough.  With a healthy dose of laziness thrown in on top.

Wait, I could write for a half hour or zone out in front of the idiot box till I fall asleep?  Well, I'm too tired to write anything good anyway.

Sound familiar?  I want to tell you, some of my most creative moments have come when I thought I was too tired to write.  Think about it, your consciousness is closer to the creative well spring of your subconscious when your sleepy than at any other time.

Do not give in!  Write for 20minutes every day no matter what.  I'm sure you'll find, when you finally get yourself in front of the computer, you'll routinely write far longer.  You just have to get yourself there.

2. I have writers block.

Dean Koontz does not believe in writers block.  So neither do I.

If whatever your working on should go stale on you, put it away for awhile and start something new.  Or do what I do, go through something you put away awhile ago because it got stale.  It's amazing how a little time makes things seem fresh to you.

3.  I don't know what to write.

Look, the difference between being a writer and wanting to be a writer, is actually sitting down and writing.  That is it!  You can write a blog or a how to book or a non-fiction piece on the revolutionary war.  It doesn't matter.

I get it.

Sometimes all those options can get a bit overwhelming.  So simplify the list and then try writing everything.  Lately, I love writing YA fiction.  I just love it.  But I dabble in sci-fi still and even have a full blown Thriller on the burner.

My suggestion?  Write everything in your heart!  If you feel a connection to a genre, write in that genre, but if you realize, while in the process, you don't like writing it?  Stop.  Write something else.  But if you want what you write to be really rewarding and fill you with joy every time you sit down to work?  Write what scares you.  The very thing, in your heart of hearts, you want to write, but don't think you're good enough to accomplish.  Write that all day long!

You'll fail the first hundred times or so, but when you figure it out!  Wow!  It's like magic!

Never give in to your fear!  Never.

4.  How do you write so much?  I write 14 pages and I lose the story.

Well, so do I sometimes.  Most of the time, it turns out to be a good thing though.  Because the story spins off in a new direction I didn't see before.

How does one write a novel and keep the story going and the characters believable?


Think of your writing skills like a muscle.  If you want to develop your physical muscles, you have to go to the gym.  If you want to develop you writing skills, you have to develop your mind.

Practice writing and read everything you can!

Would you advise a young guitar player to learn to play the guitar without listening to music?  No, the two go hand in hand.  So to, does writing and reading.  Or reading and writing.

I'm not sure which is more important, but if you put a gun to my head, I'd say writing.  Reading is super important, but if you don't practice what you've learned by reading, it was just a well spent afternoon reading.

Anyway, these are my thoughts and what I do.  So take it with a grain of salt.  But I've read a dozen books, written by successful authors, who advise the same process.  More importantly don't give up.  I remember hearing on NPR a writer was quoted as saying, "Writing is hard.  So hard, that unfortunately, most people quit doing it before they get good at it."  Don't quit!


Because I love reading and I need more stories!

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