Underrated Writing Tips 2
Continuing the writing tips series…
Welcome to another instalment in the underrated writing tips series. For those who haven’t read the first post, please do so by clicking below.
Now that everyone is caught up, let’s get right to it!
This weeks underrated writing tips are:
- Write what you feel
- First drafts don’t need to be masterpieces
- The bad stuff makes way for the good stuff
- Rejection letters are part of the process
- The only person who can stop you being a writer is you…
WRITING WHAT YOU FEEL
Some of the earliest advice we get as writers is to, “Write what you know!” That’s handy in the beginning, it helps you add a level of detail and intimate know how that immediately addresses any deficiencies in your experience level. Only you can write that particular story/piece/song. By all means keep that advice close to hand, it becomes a point of reference going forwards. We are always learning and seeing new things so it definitely helps.
However, what if you want to create something fantastical? Did Tolkien know any orcs or hobbits? Point being, at some point you’re going to need to take the SUV off road and trust the engineering.
Write what you know if you like, but always write what you feel! – JM
There is nothing like writing something completely new from an imagined point of view. World creation, character profiles, story arcs and the like all directly from your mind. How amazing is that?
FIRST DRAFTS ARE A NECESSARY EVIL…
Yes that first draft you both dread and avoid like the plague, that’s the one we’re talking about! Speaking from personal experience, you put it off until you are compelled to sit down and get it done.
Then, you really feel like it’s about to be the best first draft ever! You’re ecstatic and why would’nt you be? You became the first writer in history to write an all conquering first draft. You catch a power nap, you’re going to proof read it like a champ and then declare to the world you’ve arrived! The next day you notice very little wrong and hardly any spelling mistakes, you’re a genius! You celebrate the cooling down period, you can’t wait to come back with fresh eyes and be wowed again.
IT WAS ALL GOING SO WELL…
Guess what? It sucks! It may well be the worst piece of trash you’ve ever written! This is a new low for you! How could you have thought this was good? Maybe you’re going senile? You run it by all four of your inside voices and you all agree you should never write again! In fact to ensure it, you should consider destroying your computer/tablet. It’s the humane thing to do!
A first draft is really nothing more than a chance for you to download the raw data in your head. It is most likely going to read like an incoherent mess until you decode it. – JM
THE BAD STUFF MAKES WAY FOR THE GOOD STUFF
If you carry on past the first draft, you may find that things start to take shape where there was once a incoherrent mess. It’s very quickly becoming a very unique and elegant story.
The ideal relationship with your writing, is one where you see the bad drafts as a vehicle to getting to the really good ones. We have all been there, we have all created a piece so bad we’d sooner cut out our tongues than ever admit it happened. Welcome to the club! If you can take this dire piece and turn into something special, well you my friend are a true Writer supreme.
REJECTION IS A BADGE OF HONOUR
You persevered, you soldiered on past the terrible first draft. You’ve taken a lump of carbon and under pressure you’ve created a diamond. You didn’t stop there, you buffed it into a priceless piece of art.
It’s time to share it with the world, but first you need a publisher/agent/manager. You send off query letters in bulk and you wait. Some come back to you immediately, it’s a polite no with best wishes attached. Not so bad right? After that it gets worse and worse, the feedback is off base, the rejection is patronising and not at all what you would have expected from industry professionals. Even the most iconic of writers have gone through this, you must too if you’re going to forge your own legend.
Keep writing and keep the work rate high. Don’t let this break your spirit. Your craft will reward you in time. – JM
THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN STOP YOU BEING A WRITER IS YOU
You’ve survived an awful first draft, rejection letters and you’re still here! If you’re going to wait to be discovered as proof your writing is valid and necessary, you’re going to have a very unhealthy relationship with your passion. No one can take your confidence away without your consent.
Remember all the accolades, small accomplishments, challenges you overcome and sheer amount of will that has brought you here. Don’t lose your talent and your drive trying to fit in; you were made to stand out! In time you will, and when you do it will be with you holding all the cards…
WHERE’S THE RESPECT?
Writing is one of those professions which people easily dismiss, even those who work with writers don’t often address them with the respect they deserve. This is not something you can change across the board on your own. However, you are directly responsible for how you allow people to approach you. If something feels off, or you are made to feel uncomfortable, trust your gut if it tells you to walk away. Anyone who gives you wishy washy information, or tries to call you out for not allowing yourself to be exploited, clearly isn’t advising you with the best of intentions.
It’s not all doom and gloom fellow scribes. You will meet people you can really trust. On top of that, you will find representation which seeks to elevate and progress your career along the way. Until then keep fighting the good fight!
CHANGE THE DESTINY OF A STORYTELLER
I wrote this article while realising how inaccurate and unfair some of the critiques of my work have been in the past. It would have been easy to give up and often it seems like the wise choice. However, when you see the very ideas you wrote (which were rubbished) being used as a method of uniting the stepped on. It gives you cause for pause…
With that being said I am asking everyone who reads this article, to kindly sign and share this petition. Click here
You really care about telling authentic stories! That’s why it shouldn’t be a old chums club, where you have to kiss a dusty old ring or mortgage your soul to get in. If the name of the game is originality; the gatekeepers need to do a better job of letting those who possess it through.
THANK YOU FOR CONTINUING TO SUPPORT WRITTEN MIRROR
Until next time; enjoy the underrated writing tips…