Through the course of this life, I have discovered words, both by and about writers and writing, that have stuck with me and helped me explain, understand and follow my passion for the art of words and life as a writer. Here are a few of them.
Write drunk, edit sober. The reason for this is that writing is a hell of a lot easier than editing. You don’t need your wits about you to write. Writing is the easiest part of the whole process. You lay everything out on the table and then, later on, you can deal with all the issues.
Well, now it’s later on, and now I have to deal with the issues.
When you measure your type of writing against someone else’s and it doesn’t add up, well, you’re bound to feel inferior, and that inferiority manifests in the favorite of all phenomena, Imposter Syndrome.
They’re all right. Every single person who told you that writing was going to be full of obstacles and challenges and rejections, every single one of them is right. Writing is hard and you should be able to fall back on other skills, and yeah, you probably will be broke, at least for a while.
But the truth of it is, writing – the whole writing process – that’s the easiest part.
I used to think I could research my books as I went. I used to delve into plot and character development and setting and think ‘I’ll get to that later’. I used to believe that research was secondary to the fundamentals of writing a story.
I used to be very, very wrong.
And sometimes, as much as it pains me to admit it, writing doesn’t always take the priority.
The constructive critique is a vital tool and not just for the reasons you think. While there is much to be gained from new sets of eyes reading and analyzing your work, the value of a critique, whether in a classroom, writing group or on a peer-to-peer basis, is undeniable.
I’ve also written stories in some pretty unique and odd places, scribbled out conversations, speed-typed a strand of dialogue onto my phone while I was supposed to be paying attention Chemistry. My odd writing experiences have taken me a great many places, here are just a few of the weird and wonderful spots where I’ve stopped to jot down ideas.
Every writer has their own style and approach to a story. Some research first, others outline and plan, and some dive right in with nothing more than a name and a vague idea for where their novel might end up. As you can probably guess, I’m not one of those people.
While there are a great many similarities between the tips for fiction and nonfiction writers block, I would say there are a great many differences too. Writing fiction employs a variety of skills that don’t necessarily overlap with those utilized for journalism or nonfiction. That does not mean it is easier or harder, simply different.