“I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this. [Cormac McCarthy’s Venomous Fiction, New York Times, April 19, 1992]” ― Cormac McCarthy
“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.” —Henry David Thoreau
“I almost always urge people to write in the first person. … Writing is an act of ego and you might as well admit it.” —William Zinsser
“A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.” —Angela Carter
“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” —Robert A. Heinlein
“I don’t believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.” —Ray Bradbury, WD
“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” —Ray Bradbury, WD
“I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” —Tom Clancy, WD
Has music ever snaked between your ears like a smoky old nightclub in the sixties? How about words? Have you experienced the call of voices and concepts which seep into your conscious mind and demand to be set loose into the world?
Writers know. We tune into ourselves so that we may release ideas and stories into our reality. As writers, we wrestle with our minds in attempts to squeeze out those elusive yet persistent voices and concepts. When you’re not accustomed to such internal, frenetic mental exercises, writing may appear somewhat daunting. Yet alluring.
The challenge set before every writer stands as an exercise in finding the vocabulary to translate from internal thought into external meaning. On the surface, this could sound simple. After all, you simply write down what your mind gives you.
Think of words as colors. The words you choose to color, or paint, the picture of what is going on in your mind. But this picture is not a still, but a moving picture. Much like a movie, what you paint with your words delivers actions, consequences, concepts, and a host of other “life” situations in motion. It’s one thing to do this with recording devices, quite another to pluck something from the gray matter of your brain and bring it, at least conceptually, to the world.
Writing is an exploration of how much and how vivid you can recreate the thoughts which drove you to select words and find a way to convey these words in an order which assists others in experiencing what you’ve already experienced in your head. Put that way, writing is so complex and involved as to be out of reach of most people. Yet, the truth is, all you have to do is give yourself permission to take on the challenge and place words to a page.
The more you do this, the more you practice, the more you give yourself permission to explore, the more you catch fire and write and the more you may connect with others. We overcomplicate writing and its complexities by placing tons of rules and rigid precepts like “styles” one must follow and the “queen’s English” which must be adhered to.
The challenge of writing is to throw off all that, all the analytical mumbo-jumbo I’ve been writing about and simply allow yourself to tell us your story. Fiction, non fiction, it does not matter. Are you willing to put yourself out there and give it a go.
Many people possess the desire, but they need help. That’s what I do. I’m a book coach/consultant. I help with getting your book written, rewrite, edit, and publishing. I like to say I can help you from conception to completion. Email me if you would like more info: Author@MichaelRayKing.com