Saw this quote and it made me chuckle.
Sometimes it does feel that this is a practice that is very self-serving, much like some other things we do in private .. like closet drinking or sneak eating 🙂
As writers we agonise over our plot, our charaters, whether we’ve got the right dialogue, if we’re consistent in our timeline, and much much more.
We think writing is difficult.
And it is.
And this is why it’s not:
If we want to be published, there’s so much more to do and the true writer stays the course through all the edits and decisions to reap the rewards – often not monetary or fame but pride and satisfaction in seeing our book in print.
What’s the toughest part about the writing journey for you?
It happens to the best of us.
We burst headlong into a new project idea full of excitement, anticipation, hope. And then the nagging thoughts start to creep in. “What if I can’t do this?” “What if it’s no good?” “What if I got the plot wrong?” “This is sounding really boring” “Who would want to read what I’m writing?” … and so it goes.
Negativity is a killjoy to creativity. It stultifies it, squashes it, suppresses it. No fun.
Self doubt kicks in. We wonder why we’re even attempting this. We doubt our ability, our value, our commitment.
Then we start to worry about whether we’re doing things right. We second-guess the method and techniques we’ve been taught or learned from those who have gone before.
STOP! Right now.
You HAVE to nip negativity in the bud before you slide down the slope of discontent and shelve your project and question yourself as a writer and creator of ideas.
Stay positive. When a negative thought sidles into your mind, catch it and replace it with a more positive one. That’s going to take persistence and discipline – both of which a writer needs so consider you are refining your abilities.
Ignore the naysayer in your head. Our inner critic intends to protect us but in the process it limits us. Let it know you appreciate its efforts but you are a writer and you need to write and nothing else is important until the work is done.
Trust in the writing process. Know that there is a method and whichever one you follow is the right one for you. Don’t chop and change. Stick to one process and see how it works for you. You can always fine-tune or adjust along the way. At the end, you can decide if there may be a better method. But if you switch methods all the time you end up procrastinating and your focus turns to the method rather than the result.
Work at it. You’ll get there!
Came across this little video – well, it’s an hour long actually – but it seems to have a decent approach to writing. Note – this is not a quick and dirty cheat-sheet. Andrew goes through in a structured and thorough way. He claims to write a short story each week so he has some good tips.
Hard to believe, I know, but not everyone feels compelled to write.
Yeah. I don’t get that either. Still, each to their own.
For those who do have an insatiable and unstoppable urge to write, the question becomes … why?
I was fortunate enough to hear a few authors talking about their journey to being published and was fascinated to find that most differed in what caused them to become published.
One such person was Steve Bisley. Steve is a knockabout Aussie actor who was raised in a typical ordinary Australian family. As an actor he has enjoyed a modestly successful but consistent career in television and on stage. He admitted that as an actor, one is always interpreting the words and works of others. It got to the stage where he decided to have a bash and write his own story.
As often happens, his first novel was autobiographical in nature in the sense that it was a rollicking recollection of stories from his childhood. He admits to never having a diary or anything but his own memory as a keen observer of life. He recalled an image and wrote it out. Steve took time out from acting to write and set a discipline of writing in longhand daily from 8.30 am and then typing it into Word. If he didn’t follow that discipline he feared the book would ‘go on’ and never be finished.
He did indeed finish, was published, and is now writing his next book. Interestingly he thought writing was tough doing his first book. Now he realises that was easy because he just had to resell his life’s stories. In his new venture, he is finding it much harder as it’s not autobiographical at all.
Steve wrote to express himself in a new creative way rather than being a vehicle for others voices. He is learning a whole new way of being in his mature years and is stimulated as well as humbled by the whole process.
Here’s a quote I grabbed from his talk that I believe is so true.