In my humble opinion, there are two main rules to becoming a writer: read a lot and write a lot. You can’t do one without the other, no matter how much you try. Fiction writing is different than any other kind of writing, and there’s a point in knowing the conventions of the genre before you can break them.
But today’s post is about writing. A lot.
A lot of writers are afraid that what they write will be the worst thing ever written. They want to write great stuff… they even want to write brilliant first drafts, because that’s how they think great writers do. And they spend a lot of time not writing. They always wait for the perfect conditions, for the right time and place, for some mystical alignment of the stars.
But the truth is that you just have to write. If it’s good, it’s good, if it’s not, you can always edit. Or just throw the damn thing away. A lot of my stories never got a chance to be read by others. I just felt that they were rubbish. When I wrote them, I wrote them with the conviction that I was writing something great. The end product though… wasn’t so great.
I used to be afraid to write, as if my talent was limited to a certain amount of words. I’d very carefully choose my stories. I spent a lot of time searching for that brilliant idea. I wrote only when I felt inspired. All that meant that I wasn’t really writing. A couple of short stories per year, a few chapters… less than ten thousand words.
Now, I can write that in a week. Maybe less. Because I no longer care. I want to just write, to tap, tap away all these ideas and dreams, and I don’t care about what others might think. I don’t want to write the greatest story every written, I just want to write my stories, the way I want to, and I just want to enjoy it. I want to write because that’s what I want to do, because it doesn’t matter if my stories are rubbish or not as long as writing is the one thing I enjoy doing most in the world. That one thing that makes me happy.