Write, write, write

writeIn 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.

***

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$770 still needed for the next part of the treatment. One I urgently need.

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21 comments on “Write, write, write

  1. Thank you for being a good example in every single aspect and helping others grow.

  2. Cari says:

    You’re so right about just writing and writing… To get better at it and not caring about what people might say that are potentially discouraging.

  3. Cynthia Lynn says:

    Your piece was well written, I had not thought about other writer’s habits or fears. At an early age, I became a writerholic and have no choice about writing every day. However, I am not one who seeks another’s approval; it is my own approval that I value. Nonetheless, I can recognize a muse so I will become number 113,521, I cannot think of a better way to start this day. Thank you, Cristian.

    • Writerholic sounds like a fun way to go about it. If you want to write, nothing can stop you. If you kinda-sorta want to write, then there are going to be quite a lot of “obstacles” and setbacks.

      • Cynthia Lynn says:

        I am excited about your blog. I just have to make more time by letting something else go! I had so many books that I had read, some stuffed under the bed, others tossed up to the shelf in the closet to later fall on my head. Clan of the Cave Bear was placed in my drawer at work, when the coast was clear I would open the drawer and read a few pages. I was that bad, but after my diagnosis of glaucoma, three years ago, I have not held a book in my hands, tears. I read online, but the experience is like store bought fruit, unless eaten from the tree you haven’t tasted fruit.

  4. aloathersguide says:

    I might be an oddball, but I like to write out the stuff that is coming to me first in a notebook. I know I can quickly hit the delete key if it’s garbage but I won’t sit down to a blank screen and try to create. When the ideas come to me, I put them down and build from there.
    And by the way, everyones first drafts suck. If we could produce masterpieces in one shot, then editors wouldn’t exist. Even the best of the best isn’t perfect.

  5. Writing is like running. If you don’t do it, you loose it. We can’t all expect to be at our personal best every day, and to be breaking records on a regular basis, but if we don’t do it, we’ll never get there.
    Even if all that comes out the other end of the pen or keyboard is garbage, it’s at least flexing the muscles you need for later.

  6. Aphrolina says:

    Great post, and I agree. Just gotta let it flow 🙂

  7. curioushart says:

    One of my math professors made his students do all their work on an unlined white piece of paper. He said if we could write a proof on a piece of blank white paper, we could write anything. He was right. Put a piece of paper in front of me, and I can write anything. Whether it’s worth reading is another matter.
    Note to self: *sigh*

  8. Will Dyke says:

    Christian, interesting post. One thing I have been thinking a lot about lately is the difference between writing and storytelling. The skills you need to create a good non-fiction book are not the same skills you need to write fiction: i.e. tell a story. In a lot of ways writing fiction is very different from non-fiction because in one your kind of flying by the seat of your pants, and in the other you are carefully drafting and editing. Both have a lot of crossover, but I suspect less than people might imagine.
    A note on reading. This is where it all starts really. It’s where you develop a love for the craft. It’s where you find inspiration. It’s where your style comes from because it gives you the opportunity to say, “wow, that’s really powerful”, or, “wow, that’s some bullshit”. Of course you need to be a reader if you want to write. Do you think Hendrix only listened to his own music?

  9. rmcalzada says:

    There is no better advice out there than what you just described. With enough time and consistency, sitting down to write becomes muscle memory, much like running or swimming. I’m thankful for your advice, which echoes what I’ve learned from a few editors and publishers. Consistency will always win out in the end.

  10. thekurtdavid says:

    Great post! 👌🏼

  11. So nice, and thanks to share, it is so marvellous !

  12. JustAnIdea says:

    Awesome, thank you for sharing :))

  13. This post is right, right, right!

  14. D. A. R. G. says:

    It applies to a all art as an occupation. I especially like one of your first points:

    …there’s a point in knowing the conventions of the genre before you can break them.

    The rest, I can identify with in one way or another… I have never written narrations —fiction, but I plan to in the near future, and I was thinking the same thing: just start doing it. Although I do not do it because I enjoy writing itself, but because I have ideas and dreams (as you call them) that would be interesting to bring forth, if only for myself and a few like-minded individuals.

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