Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Million Dollar Question

Happy Wednesday All,

The other day I was at the library talking to someone. The subject was first on books, then turned to the fact that I'm a writer and member of a writers' group and just took off from there. The person said, "I've always wanted to write, but I don't know how to start."

Okay...this is the over-simplistic answer, but it's where to start: When writing you just sit down and write.

That's it.

You write what you feel, you write what crosses your mind, you might even write about that crazy alley cat that jumps into your garbage and turns into a plastic eating tiger with an affinity for coffee grounds.

Until you start writing, you don't know what you have in you. I often forget this when I'm sitting there staring at a blank screen thinking, "Come on, I had this idea 5 minutes ago!" But if I wrote the way I write blog posts, I probably wouldn't have that writer's block or that fear of the empty screen...I'd just write. Which, is essentially what we're doing. Book authors aren't doing anything that much different from what poets, songwriters and essay writers do. Essentially, we're all just sitting down and writing.

We book authors take an idea that popped into our heads and transfer it to paper. Sometimes it's as smooth as melted chocolate over a strawberry and sometimes it's as rough as walking on hot black top in the middle of summer.

Some of us start with outlines. What kind of character is my hero/heroine? What's their attributes? What's the high concept? What are the internal/external struggles? Then flesh it out in the story.

The point is, you're not a writer until you write.

The more ambitious you are--that is, the more you want to publish, the more you have to polish your craft, but if all you want to do is write just because you have some things floating around in your head, then, just sit down and write.

For a number of years I kept journals (yeah some of those entries I like better than others) but that's one way I just sat down and wrote.

Another way is to write poetry and song lyrics. Other ways are short stories and essays.

The more you do it, the more it will come to you. The more you research it, the more you learn. The two go hand in hand.

So yeah, just sit down, write. What you write may not always be something you plan to show the general public, but it will exercise your mind and get you into the "groove" of things.

Have A Wondrous Wednesday!

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