We often feel, as would be writers that everyone knows the secrets to writing apart from us. That there’s some magical key that unlocks the gold from the dross and pours it forth from our pen.
This is not true. Just as each writer has their individual voice so each writer must find what works for them. What will motivate them to put something down, anything, on paper?
I’ll tell you what doesn’t motivate and this came as an epiphany to me, GUILT!
I’ve put it in block capitals because I feel that strongly about it. Guilt or fear do not motivate my best work. If that works for someone else well good for them.
Quotes such as ‘A writer writes’ , although helpfully meant, do not help because what happens in those times we’re not writing? If we have a break from writing for a time, planned or unplanned, these kind of quotes can make us feel that we can’t cut it. That we are not true writers because we’re not rushing to set everything down on paper.
Some people are wired and inspired that way. Some are not. Whilst the discipline of daily writing is good practice it will not necessarily make us good writers. I would prefer a well written thoughtfully composed paragraph that takes shape over a few tries than an attempt to finish everything at once but being unsatisfied with the end result.
Part of writing is talent. Obviously. There must be a spark of creativity in our prose to keep people reading. But we would be naive not to understand the huge competitive field we are dipping our toes in.
Just as I don’t always update social media regularly so I do not always write. I don’t always feel inspired. A lot of time life feels boring.
Another problem I have is finishing things I begin to write. And how much I long to leave this here!!! Because I would find that amusing.
One of my major problems in writing is fretting that what I produce has to be perfect immediately. That the book or books I’m working on have to be ready for publishing straightaway, let alone the massive struggle to even get a book deal.
There are numerous quotes about how to begin to go about writing. I just read one about writing lying down, it sparked off this blog post, but I found it uncomfortable in practice!
There are also various writing prompts online and ways to counter writers block.
The most important thing is to find what works for you. Like anything in life a little common sense goes a long way.
Find what you feel passionate and inspired about and just write regularly. Whether that’s every day or weekly or monthly even. Yes, it’s best practice to try to write daily but life still demands to be lived so stop setting yourself unrealistic targets you are bound to fail.
Oh and the whole my story isn’t original, it’s too similar to this trilogy or that young adult genre or that classic, don’t worry about it. Unless you are blatantly plagiarising someone else’s work just write. It is believed there are only 7 stories in the world anyway with various permutations of characters and beginnings and endings. But you are unique and so will your writing be, if you let it…