The Secret to Writing.
I’ve just flown back home after a big convention. Every time I appear at one of these, I’m asked the same question many times, it goes something like - ‘I want to be a writer. How do I start?’
Generally, people are looking for that one secret, magical thing which will solve whatever has stopped them from writing up to this point. Part of them is hoping that all professional writers carry around a special bottle of ‘write genius now’ and they’re willing to give them a sip.
But we don’t carry a bottle of inspiration, instead we carry this word.
That is the secret. The whole secret.
Write. Just write. Start. Then keep going.
It’s the best bit of advice any writer can give and the best bit of advice any potential writer can take on board.
It seems simple, but so often you find people who are passionate about wanting to write but haven’t actually thought of simply starting.
It IS a daunting task. Writing can be hard and facebook is so much easier. The blank page can be terrifying. If you don’t write ANYTHING, then you can’t write anything bad. If no one sees your stories, or your poetry, or your songs, or your sketches, or your plays, or your opinions, then you can’t be mocked. If you don’t try, then you can’t fail.
However, if you don’t try, there’s a good chance you’ll die a little inside. And, YOUR story will never be told. The story you haven’t even thought of yet, that one story that could entertain, or scare, or anger, or inspire, will never be read by the masses, and one of the truly depressing things is YOU will never read it. It will stay locked inside your head while your xbox gets played, your tweets are tweeted and youtube completely youtubes you.
Don’t worry. Don’t worry about the characters. Don’t worry about the ending. Don’t worry about the middle. Don’t worry if you’ve had no training. Don’t worry about what time you have to get up in the morning. Don’t worry about today. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t worry at all. Just start. Just WRITE.
Do it now. Don’t even finish reading this blog. Turn off your computer and pull out a pen, or disconnect the internet and open up a word document. Do it now. Stop reading. Stop procrastinating. Why are you still reading this? You know the secret to writing! You hold it in your head. Stop reading this inane drivel that could come from any cheap hack motivational speaker and start writing.
Don’t have an idea? Who cares? Start writing and see what comes out.
Here. I’m not going to think at all. I’m just going to write some beginning sentences using random stuff. There will be no wisdom at the end of these sentences. Don’t even bother reading these. Start writing.
No one expected the Mole People to dig up out of that playground but that’s where the apocalypse began; snarling and clawing out amidst those slides and swings.
I knew I could never go back when I saw him lying under that truck. His death was on my hands, and only one other person knew I was guilty.
Clone Seven wasn’t built to escape the pull of a black hole. As the ship screamed around us, we were sucked into the blackness that would surely spell our end… but it was just the beginning.
I never thought I’d meet the love of my life behind those prison bars.
I held his frail hand as he lay there. He clutched mine with none of the strength I’d so looked up to when I was a child.
To this day, I still don’t know why Hitler invited me to those Samba dance classes, however…
With a flash, I realized that, instead of writing what I wanted to write, I was still reading a blog. How could this be? What could possess me to continue reading when I could be creating? Why was I STILL reading these pointless sentences? Why had I still not closed the browser window? I knew the secret. I knew what I had to do but instead I kept reading, perhaps hoping that there would be some sort of wisdom at the end, knowing full well that there wouldn’t be. I kept reading, procrastinating, putting off that moment again. That moment when I had to start. That moment when I had to--