So, I wanted to write a blog detailing my personal experience and views on writing. There are a lot of things I could put here, though I instead stuck with a few key points.
Now, let me first say, that I never studied English/Writing in any serious academic form. I’ve still had to learn things along the way, and will no doubt continue to do so, but I think you’re smart enough to realise this.
Hopefully I can help others with my experience and opinion, so without further ado, let’s begin!
Be True To Yourself (and honest)
I think for many, this will seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes the most obvious and simplest of things have a way of hiding something much greater.
If I was writing Dawn of Eternity to suit someone else, I would feel like a turncoat to my characters and story. I would be betraying the part of my soul that has worked itself into the words, and this is why it is very important to be honest with yourself.
“But Jon, you ARE writing it for others; the readers.”
Actually, not entirely. Although I do want people to enjoy my work, I am also telling the story of my characters, and in my mind, they have the right to be how they are. I am not writing for any form of material success; except publication. Of course, I would love to have many sales, but for me, so long as I get one, the story has been told as I see it, and has been brought to the world.
Ask yourself if you are truly happy with the way you are writing things; do you wish to accept the level of your writing as it stands, and does it stay true to the story you want to tell?
If you made a change, did you honestly want to do it, or was it based on one person’s feedback?
Make A Badass Music Playlist
Motivation will always come and go, wax and wane. That’s not a bad thing, because the nature of all things in our universe is to alternate between the positive and negative; and though we are affected by it, we are always free to control the way we respond.
Whatever music lays claim to your taste, I am sure there is at least one song which will invoke such a strong sense of (any) emotion, you will likely continue to play it forever (I know I will – Nymphetamine…).
My point here is that music is a way of changing the energy; in my own playlist, I have a range of tones and moods. Power-metal for those epic fantasy moments, and more sombre gothic Arias for the times I wish to fully invoke the style I love so much.
Spotify is a great tool for this, because as you add music you feel is appropriate, it will offer suggestions. So not only will you find new music to discover, you’ll be able to build a playlist that will work every time you play it.
Accept Your Emotions…
As someone affected by a certain degree of OCD, I know well enough how emotions can have a pull strong enough to get you off track. That’s ok.
If you truly want to write your story, you will always have a fire burning within you, and should you ever feel down or depressed about something, that’s a good thing. It shows you care. Your work will always find its way back to you (though that’s no excuse to slack).
We live in a world, however, that doesn’t really understand emotion. There’s no such thing as a negative emotion, and if you find yourself being pummeled by something like it (maybe you got some feedback that hit you hard), try and accept it for what it is.
Emotions are a part of you that exist as much as you do, and if you try to deny them, you will ultimately just pull yourself apart (think Voldemort and his Horcruxes). So, accept them as best you can, and listen to what they are actually saying. Maybe what you feel bad about actually has some truth to it – just remember that only you can act on it. Maybe that last chapter was boring; go change it, because only you can, and that’s actually a positive.
…But Make Plans
Making plans can really help in this approach; you will be able to get a sense of accomplishment that will counter that ‘negative’ emotion you may be feeling.
The first step should always be a small one. Babies do not come out sprinting, after all, and neither will you work in this way.
Make a note. State the goal, ie: ‘make last chapter more engaging’. First step completed.
Timescale: by the end of next week. Step two completed, and you don’t have to worry about doing it all right away.
Review: read the note on that quiet day off…start skimming the chapter with a fresh perspective, and know you can improve it.
I am personally a slow writer, but I can whole-heartedly say that having some sort of goal and time frame always help if you stick to it. Just start slow, and your own enthusiasm will begin to fuel things further.
Go For Walks
Headspace is important, and if you spend all the time inside writing, you can easily find yourself feeling ‘stuffy’. It might seem cliche, especially if you live by a long beach, but who cares.
Go to a forest. A lake. Anywhere, though if it’s relevant to what you are writing, even better. I adopted a dog to help with this.
Take Every Opportunity
This will be my final point for now, but I feel it perhaps the most important.
No matter how much you want to be successful in your writing, the universe can only give you so much without effort on your part.
That’s not to say you cannot achieve what you want, by working hard at home and sending to publishers. But you can definitely supplement this in many ways.
Know a friend who studied Literature at university? Ask if they would be interested in reading; maybe they will like it and know someone who works in the industry. Imagine all of the opportunities that you may have missed, had you not tried this.
Read between the lines of things, as well. Sometimes just going out with friends and meeting new people, will yield results of all types. Those new people you meet may love the fact you are writing, and though they may not offer more than feedback, that feedback will at some point be useful. It is still an opportunity for improvement.
Take time just to think. Desire opportunities to help your cause and story; let the answers come to your mind, and be open for the moments when the universe presents them in daily life.
They will come, but only you can seize them.
He had journeyed across the ocean drifting through desires for something more, wandered the halls of life alone, and now, at what seemed the other side of the world, he had found what he needed.