7 + 3 Thoughts on Writing

Some current events occuring across the world provide much subject matter to write about. For this blog I'll stick to writing as its close to my heart. I write for pleasure and I’m satisfied that readers enjoy what I put into words. I was asked for my thoughts on writing, so here they are.

1. Writing is hard work. When things come together, words may flow for a while. Eventually the stream runs dry. Panic soon follows but is counter productive. Time out allows the writers mind to process silently in the background until the "write' moment arrives once again. Don't sweat the dry moments, the words will flow again. 

2. Writing is  always hard work. It can also be an anti-social activity, best done when friends and family aren’t around.

If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do.– William Zinsser.

"Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you." —Zadie Smith.

Writing is a highly personal matter and Zadie Smith captured an important insight. Everyone has an opinion and when they express an opinion on writing in the early stages of formation, the writer's mind can become lost in a fog of uncertainty. Writer, protect your privacy until your thoughts take on solidarity within the words you have chosen.

3. Your chosen editor is welcome to make corrections and offer suggestions. The best editors will remember they are the editor, not the writer.

4. Personally, I write better with music. A good beat or rhythm does wonders to fire up creative brain waves. Hemingway had some advice of his own.

Write drunk but edit sober.’

That may not be politically correct in current times but has an underlying truth.

5. Writing is helped when something loosens up the imagination and unlocks the urge to create. Music works for me. Maybe a glass of wine helps others. Solitude, the sound of running water in a nearby creek, waves crashing on a beach or a stunning view may work for others. Whatever helps, find it and use it.

6. To write well, tell the stories that only you can tell. There are many good writers out there but none can do better in telling the story that only you have experienced.

7. To achieve this, search out experiences. Leave home if necessary. Travel and seek out the unusual. Don’t be put off by the unexpected. The unexpected can be the source of experience to provide the fodder for writing. If experience is lacking, read a lot. Different authors, different genres and different styles will eventually unlock your own potential.

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that.”– Stephen King.

8. You can’t please everyone. Write from the heart and there will be readers out there who appreciate what you have written. Get used to rejection letters from publishers who operate from a different perspective. They aim to make money. Writers are their fodder. They judge the market based on their own experience. In doing so, publishers have rejected some of the most successful writers out there.

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”— Harper Lee.

9. There has never been a better time than now to achieve your dream of becoming a published author. From poetry, magazine articles, regional newspapers and self publishing books, opportunities abound outside the traditional options. Let your voice be heard and tell your story. Don’t let your passion for writing be killed by a traditional publishers forced to operate in a rapidly changing and highly competitive environment. If you have faith in your writing, do something with it.

10. I like the number seven but I've exceeded my favourite number. There’s a lot of sound advice out there for you. Writers must have a thick skin and no room for self doubt, so the final word is …

Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.”– Lev Grossman.

Believe in yourself. I decided to after having lots of articles published, so an image of my first novel 'Fire Eye', heads this blog. Feedback was pretty good so another follows. Readers are the best judge of our writing.

Now some bonus thoughts

Have a set place to write. Make it your own favourite space and surround it with things that mean something to you.

Get your backside on to your special seat on a daily basis, even if it's only to review your last writing. Decide on a regular word commitment, whatever suits your life style. Punch out the words every day even if you start small, like 300 words. Even that is progress. 

Same time, same place every day with the same target. It won't take long to make big advances on your book.

And again, believe in yourself.