On Writing

How To Be a Writer Lesson Two

No one owes you their time.

I dunno where I found this. It’s one of the many things written in my notebooks I keep next to me while I’m watching tv or reading or perusing Twitter. I use these little nuggets as inspiration or writing prompts if you will.

Is this an inner psychological battle my protagonist is having about her relatives or friends? An argument between two characters? How can I build on this one little sentence? Don’t stop. Keep trying to figure it out. Keep typing or writing. Don’t edit. Be honest. Be genuine. Embarrass yourself. Be antagonistic. Be compassionate. Think of colors, of feelings, of textures, of anything corporeal. Think of emotions you felt when someone took advantage of your time and it pissed you off. Think of when you took advantage of someone else’s time and didn’t bother to apologize. Think of time as not linear and waiting as not waiting but meandering.

You must charge into the writing battle with no fear. Check that ego. Don’t be resistant. Allow it to flow.

If you need to flush out those demons first—like in lesson one—do it. Get rid of them. Write them out until they’re spent.

Focus on you, you, you and all those lovely words.


Chuck Wendig’s writing books are fantastic and entertaining writing advice: The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience; 500 Ways to Tell a Better Story; 500 Ways to Be a Better Writer; 500 Ways to Write Harder; 500 More Ways to Be a Better Writer.

 

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