Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thoughts on Writing

Disclaimer: I may not be a published writer yet, but I have picked up a few things with my overpriced college education. And keep in mind, the advice is worth what you pay for it. I'm assuming that reading this blog is free.

If you are really serious about writing, then start doing an apprenticeship project in order to feel out your own abilities and get a handle on what you like and what you want to write.

Start by getting a notebook, whatever feels good to you, and aim to write in it four or five days a week. I've been a storyteller and learning my craft for twenty years, so don't expect miracles: these things take time. We practice writing like doctors practice medicine. Attention to those admired in the profession is a must.

No. 1 - Write most days of the week.
No. 2 - Read widely and avidly. Anything and everything. Learn from the masters and from people who write now successfully. Examine what they do, what works and what doesn't, and discern what each author, no matter how tedious has to offer you.
No.3 - Read books and writing and research what other authors say on their craft. Writing is a solitary process, but now more than ever there are resources that help writers learn their craft and profession from other writers, sometimes very different from themselves.
No. 4 - To write professionally, treat it like a job and work real job hours, not necessarily 9-5, but put in the time you would for a real job. But if you write for pleasure, put in the time you would for anything you enjoy.

So keep your book idea in the back of your head, but write a lot of stuff and read more. No one goes out and wins the Superbowl without going to a practice session in high school first.