We pretend otherwise.
Love’s first held hand
Love’s first kiss
Love’s first lovemaking
Love grows. Or dies.
~ Michael Ray King
There’s a whole lot of living and loving to do after those “firsts,” correct? The thrill of the “first” arrives easy to us. We work at recapturing those firsts too often, and fall into complacencies and taking things for granted. What we do over the long haul defines the relationship.
I always desire to write things of importance. I desire to construct words in such a way as to impact the reader with a truth, something they may walk away with and use in their life. I’m not so particular as to believe non fiction is the only way to do this. I crave a fiction which delivers concepts and realities that not only entertain, but also bring insight to the reader as to a critical aspect of life. We lie in fiction to tell a truth. That’s my view. I’m sure many would argue this, and that is fine. We each own a perspective, don’t we?
Here’s a perspective for you. I am convinced every writer could improve their writing by penning poetry. I’m not talking about elitist poetry where people far too often thumb their noses at writing which does not meet their particular definition of what makes great poetry. Some people love particular poetic styles while others loathe them. Poetry comes out very personal.
I say writers should write THEIR version of poetry. For their eyes only if need be. Poetry teaches a writer how to compact a load of emotion/description/scene into a minuscule place. When you want to deliver impact in a novel or non fiction writing, the ability to do this tight and with flair springs naturally out of a poetic voice. Again, no one else needs read these poems. Poetry is great practice to stretch your writing muscles. We all have opinions, don’t we?
Some folk enjoy sci-fi, some romance, others horror, whodunit, erotica. Diversity in reader preferences means you may write whatever you desire. There will be an audience. Whether you find that audience, or if it is financially advantageous determines how many potential authors view writing. My view is that I will write regardless of external vetting. My belief in words being the most powerful aspect of human living will always stand with me. I will write, if for no other reason, than to soothe my troubled soul. Does that make this perspective right for everyone? No. We all possess our own viewpoints, don’t we?
I run a workshop on “How to Write Your Book in 30 Days” which truly is more mindset and loose structure oriented than a meticulous ABC stencil approach to writing. I have writers openly disagree with my perspective on how to write a book. I also have a few hundred people who’ve gone through the workshop and came out the other side with manuscripts. Does this empirical data vetting of my “non-system” make my perspective the “right” one? An emphatic “No!”
My non-system is geared to certain personalities who desire to write but have been held back by internal demons and external criticisms. Some writers beat these roadblocks on their own. I help those who otherwise might never get to a finished first draft. Many of my attendees had been writing their book for years with little or no headway, then a few weeks of my workshop – they’re done. I like that. No, I LOVE that. Again, does that mean my “way” is right? We all make our own decisions, don’t we? (At least we should…).
Creativity is not something to be trifled with. As soon as I hear someone spout off their way of creating as the only way, I quell the urge to immediately walk away. I hear them out to see if they hold any nuggets of personal interest, then I move on. The vast majority of the time, these people believe their authoritarian view of creativity to be the “best” way. I know I feel that myself with my views of accessing creativity. Then I think of the myriad differences between us all, the wildly divergent perspectives based on individual lives and experiences. I realize my views on creativity will resonate with those who need my insights. Others will resonate with someone else and produce their book.
If I had any major complaints about the writing industry (other than marketing…) the biggy would be this insistence by so many, likely the majority, of writers as to how to go about producing work. The true conundrum comes when you must speak about what you do. You cannot speak all wishy-washy. You must state your view, your perspective, with confidence and conviction. You must show you believe in your philosophy. You must walk a line which gets drawn in drastically different places based on who’s drawing the line. We all have our perspectives, don’t we? I know I do…
Ultimately, how you write and create your book comes down to your decision. Many writers like myself stand more than willing to share our views and perspectives on the subject. I tell every workshop to “Take the best and throw away the rest of what I have to say.” My information is only as good as your willingness to open yourself to it. Those things I do which motivate me may do nothing for you.
Writers tend to be proud of their work. No matter how poorly written. No matter how disjointed. No matter how empty. For all those things, and many more, can be very subjective. What I see as disjointed may make perfect sense to someone else. What feels empty and devoid of quality content may thrill someone else. I don’t like to think this way, but it’s true.
Therefore… each writer strives to bring something of importance to someone. We often own no clue as to whom that audience may encompass. Yet we write. Please keep this in mind when you write and you seek out advise. What you digest and make your own will define you. Over time, you likely will find many things you once adopted to be out of line with your new perspective. Take it easy on yourself and grow.
Writing grows. Or dies.
We pretend otherwise.
Writing’s first complete manuscript
Writing’s first publication
Writing’s first sale
Writing grows. Or dies.
There’s a whole lot of writing and loving to do after those “firsts,” correct? The thrill of the “first” arrives easy to us. We work at recapturing those firsts too often, and fall into complacencies and taking things for granted. What we do over the long haul defines the relationship.