I am going to make this short and sweet. I don't pretend to be an expert. But I have put in hundreds and hundreds of hours practicing the craft in Canadian schools and currently in the UK.
- I see lots of people ask questions about how to write, what advice do published authors have for aspiring writers. The simplest thing is to write. Make no excuses. If you aren't writing daily (or at least four days a week, don't ask me how I got that number) you aren't serious about being a writer. If you can't do that, then you really like the idea of your name on the spine of a book, but don't want to put in the work. Just sit down and write. If it sucks, keep writing. Aspiring marathon writers start small, and work up. They increase their stamina, their endurance, and eventually the muscle. I encourage you to write in the morning. Get up an hour before you usually do, sit down somewhere quiet, and just write for 20-30-60 minutes. You can't be a cook if you never cook. So it goes with writing.
- Read, read, read, read… but with a side-note. No good writer is not also a good reader, whatever a good reader is. With that in mind, I would suggest you NOT to read books/stories similar to the one which you are currently working on. I believe this for a few reasons: it can discourage you if you feel they did it better, you can lose your own, personal rhythm, and begin writing like that in the story… I could go on. If you are writing horror, read a comedy. If you are writing a comedy, read a tragedy. I feel this also allows you to flesh out your own story. It should, in my opinion, help you develop some more depth to your own piece. Non-fiction books help a lot also. I personally read screenplays when I am in the thick of writing.
- This is a strange one. I have not heard this anywhere, but it is something I noticed I'm guilty of and really have become convinced has some negative impacts. This strange suggestion is to NOT stock up on journals, papers, neat new pens, pencils, etc. How many of us go to our local book store and see that really sexy leather bound journal, or that sweet little pen with hyper-galvanized, deep space metal grooves for a better writing experience… We all want them. But how many of us ACTUALLY write in every single page of them? How many new pencils go unsharpened or pens not used? I think this overwhelms the potential writer, they see the empty pages, and it feels like an insurmountable task. It makes the process seem more difficult than it really is. I also think it promotes some form of laziness. It is like hoarding. Now I am no psychologist, but it has been said to me, and I have read, that people who hoard do so for comfort (among many other reasons) Now with that in mind, why do you think you are hoarding all of those notebooks and pens and writing goodies? Maybe to make yourself feel better? Maybe because it makes you feel like a writer when you purchase it, but when you get home and aren't writing you start to have doubts and feel like a fraud? Throw out your notebooks. Snap your pencils. Keep only one journal, and one pen. Use both until they are spent, and THEN get that sexy journal and that super epic new pen.
Just my two cents on the matter. Like I said, I am not an expert at all, but I would like to think I know a thing or two. Also, not as short and sweet as I would have liked, but you know, verbosity is sometimes hard to contain. (Advice 4 buy and read a dictionary)
Also, if any of you have any questions on CRWR schooling I will do my best to answer them. (While procrastinating from writing because I am still guilty of failing my advice numero uno)
- Stop making excuses and write
- Read a ton, but not the genre you are currently writing
- Don't hoard writing goods. Keep 1 journal and pen, use them up, then get more.
Cheers everyone. Or as they say in Wales, tada.