Thank you for attending my TED talk…….
But seriously, that is all there is to it. I could sit here and toss out advice, but it’s really worthless. Far better writers and academics have done more than I ever could to help those aspiring to be narrative monoliths.
There is one thing I can say though, and it really won’t help, but maybe it will. Read all the advice you can, then toss a bunch of it out. The thing about writing, as I have found out, is that there is a lot of advice out there, but some of it won’t apply to you. Some of it will be spot on, and some will work for you if adapted.
Like I don’t need outlines. I have tried, they aren’t bad and can usually help for a little while but my stories like to wander off and write themselves after a while and my outlines are worthless soon after I start. But that is for me, maybe you can use them and it helps. Unto each their own.
Writing prompts I do occasionally when I just want to spit out words. I can come up with ideas a bit too easily, thus me having like 5 things in the works at once. Again, some people need these to get started or to keep their chops up.
The few things I can say that will help anybody is, write almost everyday. Even if just a few hundred words, it helps. Use it or lose it. Also become a pro at your chosen method of writing. The ability to type fast, speak into your recorder with the words you want, or even handwrite as fast as you can think will make it easier when you do the deed.
If i couldn’t type as fast as I thought when I am in the zone, i don’t know I could do what i do. I need to get the ideas out and on paper (screen) as I am thinking, because my way of writing is very fluid. Again, it might be for you. you might be slower and more methodical. But even with that, you have to do what works and the last thing you need is your finger hitting the wrong key. So familiarity with your chosen tool(s) is key.
And love it. The one piece of advice or view of writing that pisses me off the most is when people say it’s “work” and “hard”. There are parts of it that are. I think editing, re-writing, and all of the after its written stuff is a pain. But the actual process while you are creating the first draft should be enjoyable. I couldn’t see myself writing if I didn’t love it.
And that last part is my one piece of disposable advice, because you might not love it. But as long as you don’t hate it or dread it, then you might be fine.
Now that is actually the end of my TED talk…….