Friday, August 18, 2017

Review: Every Book, Class, Video, Pamphlet About How to Write and why all of it is crap

So you want to be a writer. Noble enough I guess, although everyone it seems, including journalists are writing fiction these days. With the competition that thick, let me ask you; do you have something to say, do you need to purge or are you just wanting to be famous?

This is an important base line question and at the root of this.

Famous of course is the answer I hear most.

I want to be famous too. I want to live forever. I want to learn how to fly -- high. But unlike Irene Cara I need to write because I am under the gun to do so. I need to purge.

Keep this in mind.

The first rule of writing is be yourself and not someone else.

Be yourself and not a fan writing in the style of another. It shows. It comically shows especially to the least literate out there. Oh you may fool some of the people, but your representation for being so and so light will leave you hollow.

The second rule of writing is that the fame you crave may come later.....later while you are moldering in a padded box beneath the dirt.

Patience my deceased father stressed to me, particularly after he passed, is the reality and key. Promote yourself, yes, but understand people love praised and awarded shiny baubles that rust and history is littered with those popular manure drops. Read your history. Time is the best judge.

And that is the next rule: Read, read, read.

In order to to understand your craft you need to understand from whence you came. Reading the best pushes you to be better. Reading the best gives your chosen genre a context. This will give breadth to your rawness.

While you are reading DON'T read any book about how to write. Books about writing are generally written by people who have no bibliography other than writing books about writing. See where I am going?

If you have something to write ----WRITE. Do not waste your your time wrapping your brain and your creativity around failed writers' invocations and those insipid exercises about apples and bananas.

These are snacks not literary devices.

To that end let me preface this next step on the yellow brick I have belonged to writers groups. Early on when I was dumb and lacked confidence. But you will find most of these people are wannabes. They continue to work on the same project for years without ever sending it out to a publisher.

A romance writer knows nothing about horror. And frankly other horror writers who think they have channeled other crappy horror writers of their present day will only try to derail your good idea if and when they recognize it.

The rule then is writing is lonely. The story is coming from you not a committee of hacks who have never been eye to eye with anything other than their own selfish dreams.

And to that end when alone you have to write for yourself. Don't try to be popular. Everybody wants to be popular and why lose yourself in a crowd? You want to stand out.

Be thick skinned. You have to believe in what you are doing and your writing must express that. This can't be taught or manufactured; you either have it or not.

And while I have taught classes. I never really taught. I mined. I mined the souls in front of me to find that engine in each and every student to focus on the real reason we should all have to become writers: To create a long lasting art.

And it is all about art. It is all about immortality.

And it should be; out of YOUR intellect, YOUR heart and YOUR gut.

Your inspiration should be you.

Your writing should be for all time.

Shoot for that and you will never get writer's block again.

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