Monday, September 17, 2012

Inevitable Contradictions

Author, Blogger, Writer ... Whatever, Lord Just Help Me!
Image From the 'Being Catholic... Really' blog.
At some point in our writing careers, and in truth life, we come up against competing advice.

  • "Revise as you go."
  • "Don't revise anything until you write the entire draft."
  • "Real writers plot out their whole stories before they begin."
  • "Writers have to be willing to go where the story takes them."
  • "Writing can't be taught."
  • "Practice and learn from the masters."

Yeah... well...


Everyone is different. We each have skills others lack. With writing, you may write awesome dialog. I might do killer descriptions. But we all come from somewhere different. Even the same story can be told differently. Don't believe me? When was the last time you told urban legend stories with your friends and had them add/correct the story you were telling?

One thing I know: we each have to find our own way of doing things.

As we develop, we may start out flailing at the blank pages. Eventually we 'find' better ways of doing things. What works for me may not work for you, but that doesn't mean either of us is wrong. Just different.

You may only write a paragraph a day.

Great! Tell your story.

Maybe you revise after your critique group has made suggestions.

Good job! Tell your story.
Don't automatically believe someone who tells you you're doing it wrong. You will find your own way if it's something you really want. That's not to say you shouldn't listen to advise. But try other people's tactics... carefully. They may be destructive to yours. Remember the quote from Tracy Hickman that I used in my Reevaluating Your Goals blog post, "Everyone has to find their own way, but its never the same way. Everyone has to pay their own dues, but they're never the same dues."

Explore your technique and enjoy your journey. Life's too short to do anything else.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Tony. There is so much writing advice circulating that it's easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged. I remember feeling accomplished because I wrote 1000 words one day. Then I came across another writer who cranked out 8000 words every afternoon!! We can't compare ourselves to others. If you write one paragraph a day, hey, you got something down on paper. It counts.


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