Friday, June 15, 2007

Are you hung up as a writer?

This is my 100th post
As you will be able to see, I am in a very philosophical mood today. The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius said,

“Every journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
He also said,

“Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes.”

Pamela Johnson suggested to help yourself move on with your writing, think as each step you write as a single incident, such as writing one paragraph, producing a character sketch or sketching a map of the location. It is a process of going through the layers.

The process of writing itself, even for very experienced writers, can be difficult and frustrating. The choices involved in creating the text, selecting appropriate words, arranging these words into meaningful sentences and using these sentences to explain a flow of fast moving ideas is hard work. Writing is a physical activity:

So take the first step...
Think what is it you want. Where you are now? Where do you want to go? What's the first thing that you need to do to get moving? Don't worry about making mistakes just get the story down on paper.

And keep taking steps....
Even if they feel like baby steps! We all have days where every step feels painful, or there is something else to do, or it's just plain too difficult. This is the, ‘Don't wanna’ tantrum, I’ve mentioned before! Go on, even if it's something really easy, take that one step. Just open the file on your computer. It's only a small step, but it proves your intent. After all, the files open now, you might as well do something with it.

And most importantly enjoy every step you take…
It was Haim Ginott who said:

“Happiness... is not a destination: it is a manner of travelling."

So have fun on your journey. Enjoy your writing and when you get there rather than moving straight to the next place, next goal, and next challenge, rest a while and glory in the fabulousness of what you have achieved. Read it aloud and be proud of what you have written.

Pamela said that instead of saying, “I must…” say, “I wonder…”

Recognise what is relevant and throw the rest away. I’ve said many times before - don’t be precious about your writing. I know this is easy to say and a lot harder to put into practice, especially when you have invested so much time into it. But, try it and see. You may be even prouder of the finished article.


Sue Eves said...

Happy 100th post! Excellent advice and I agree about not being precious about your writing. But it's hard to decide sometimes what to throw away.

I'm just discovering that the 'throw away bits' can now make new stories. So I don't throw anything away in the end - I just recycle it!

Anita Marion Loughrey said...

It's great isn't it. i use to find that alot when writing short stories for the national women's magazines.

Brilliant. Thanks Sue.