Written by | Posted November 13, 2014 – 12:30 pm A Girl and her Dog

The morning of the all hands summon to the Blasted Lands, Aely went for a walk. The late fall air was clear and cool, and leaves crunched under their feet in the less-traveled parts of the streets. She and Roger took the long way around Old Town, south through Tanner Circle and down Bulwarks, across […]

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Guest Post: The Secret of Writing
comment 7 Written by on January 12, 2010 – 9:36 am

Today’s post is brought to you by the awesome Tami, who will introduce herself here in a minute (as I am still out of town). She’s an awesome writer, and you may have once known her as The Egotistical Priest. She’s filling in for me today with a little bit about the actual /process/ that is writing. Sometimes I get asked how it is that I write every day, or how I get something finished (either blog posts or RP stories or other stories). Tami’s got your answer.

INTRODUCTION
Hello, Anna’s readers! I’m Tami, from TamiMoore.com. Anna sent out the call for guest posts and asked me to give her readers a little tough love on the subject of writing.

*cracks knuckles*

WRITING
Blogging, magazine articles, short stories, novels, non-fiction books, diaries, role-playing …

No matter what flavor of “writing” they do, a lot of writers are looking for the magic bullet – the missing piece that will solve all their writing problems.

“What problems are these, Tami?”

Well, I’m so glad you asked! Let’s take a look at a small sub-sampling, which naturally has no bearing whatsoever in my own personal writing problems and issues, because any one person having THIS many writing hangups might seem unhinged …. *coff, coff* Moving on.

  • I don’t have time to write.
  • There are too many distractions, it’s too hard to concentrate.
  • My writing isn’t good enough, nobody would voluntarily read this!
  • My muse must be broken.
  • What if I’m doing it wrong?
  • Every time I sit down to one story, five more crop up and I want to write them, too!

Those are fun, eh? Any of them sound familiar?

THE SECRET
I am going to teach you the secret to writing. It answers every single one of those problems and more.

Furthermore, I’m going to give it to you absolutely free.

*waves you in closer* Are you ready?

WRITE.

NO, SERIOUSLY
That’s it.

That’s the secret.

Disappointed?

I can’t imagine why you should be. If anything, you should be filled with hope and a renewed fervor.

I’m being serious here. You, in the back, stop it with the scoffing.

If there were some magical secret to writing, that would mean that some folks had an advantage. That no matter what you did, you might never write as well as they can until you got your hands on their magic bean/pill/potion/prayer/thingy. “Powdered writing skill, just add water!”

Happily, that’s not true at all!

Write. That’s it.

Work. Practice. Do. Take action. Butt in Chair, Fingers on Keyboard – WRITE.

EXCUSES
But, but, but, how can that possibly address all of those problems?

  • Don’t have time to write? What about all the single mothers out there holding down a full time job and still producing one to two books per year? Talk about someone who doesn’t have time to write! Ask any of them and they’ll tell you – they make time to write. In a life filled with valid reasons to have no time for writing, they carve out that time.
  • Too hard to concentrate? Buy a pair of headphones or earbuds and suck it up. We will never have the “perfect” writing environment. If we NEED the perfect writing environment to write, we’d never get anything done. Real life always intervenes. You just have to bull through it.
  • Not good enough? That’s what practice is for. You get better at writing by writing really horrid stuff for a while and improving as you see what works and what doesn’t work.
  • Broken muse? No such thing. I promise, if professional authors and artists produced work on their muse’s schedule, we’d still be in the dark ages. Sure, having that artistic high is FANTASTIC, but it can and will not be how you feel every time you sit down to write. Furthermore, writing “museless” is normal and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Just write. Regardless of whether or not you feel like you’re peeling the words out from beneath your fingernails or if your fingers are flying over the keyboard. Write.
  • Doing it wrong? There’s no wrong way to write. Commercial fiction has some structures and rules it usually obeys, and you can learn those from websites and books on writing. But there’s no way to WRITE wrong. Experiment. Do it the wrong way. Do it a different way. WRITE. Practice. Learn. What have you got to lose, really? Especially when compared against what you have to GAIN!
  • Too many story ideas at once? Write them all down. Promise all of them that you love them and you’ll come back to them. Pick one and WRITE it. Finish it. Go all the way to the end and then keep your promises to those other stories. WRITE.


SUMMARY

Whether you have novels inside of you, yearning to be written or you’d really just like to update your blog more often, the answer is the same.

WRITE. No excuses.

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7 Responses to “Guest Post: The Secret of Writing”

  1. Trust Tami.

    If I may add one small thing: If you are serious about writing, and if you were nodding in agreement with anything Tami said, then know this, too:

    Writing is a job. Give it the same regard you do your paying job. And that means doing all the things Tami listed. (Just be sure you get the food on the table, clothes on the kids, and the bills paid, first!)

  2. You know Steve, I saw your comment and all I could think of was “In Tami We Trust”, especially when it comes to writing.

    This post speaks the truth and says exactly what you need to do. Now, if you are like me, and you let your fear overrun your creative life it is very easy to not write.

    But like anything worth doing, you need to stuggle and fight for it. At first it is with your inner demons, but IT CAN BE DONE. Just like Tami said, “Work. Practice. Do. Take action. Butt in Chair, Fingers on Keyboard – WRITE.” It is okay to suck, it okay to write totally garbable, because you know what…that page or paragraph or short story you just worte is more than you had before. And when you sit back down and write again, it will be just a little better than before, I promise.

    Self imposed deadlines and such can help if you have trouble getting starting and finishing (looks in the mirror again), do whatever you need to do because if it is important to you, then MAKE it important. Give it a real place in your life. The words will thank you for it!

  3. I read an anecdote one time, and I apologize that I can’t recall who it was from…but it amounted to this writer was giving a talk and was asked, “What makes a writer?” He started talking about how there are so many things that distract people from writing- they sit down to write, then get up to get a cup of coffee, reorganize their space, remember suddenly to water the plants, etc.- and concluded, simply, “A writer is the one who stays in the room.”

    It’s kind of stuck with me.

    By Lilivati on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

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