May 16, 2009

Writing tips? not for me. I make my own rules. But seems like it fits the general mold of what advice-givers are advising.

I kind of try to avoid reading how-to blogs on writing. I think the main reason is that I feel I am just part of a crowd of a gazillion wannabes. And I don´t want to be a wanna be - I want to BE a writer. And getting the feeling - which one inadvertantly does - that I am just one drop in the ocean of potential writers........well, no. So I try to avoid engaging with others.

I just keep my head to the ground and plod on. Not the type of plodding Conan the Barbarian did when he was pushing that mill thingy in circles, more the eyes and ears wide open listening and reading a lot type of plodding. So maybe I should not call it plodding but "working". Yes, that definitely sounds better.

But ok - yes, I do occasionally peak at a few of the many sources available.

This one for instance:

Now, reading through it was somehow a vindication or small victory (one has to constantly bolster the "writer ego" since there are no sales statistics yet charted out) that I am on the right path - because all the suggestions made (albeit translated into "me rule") - I just did and continue doing what I am doing, out of pure intuition. Like its kind of common sense. No?

Mind you, I didn´t do this from the outset when I decided, concretely: I am going to write a book. I am giving up my job to write. What I did back then - two years ago - was actually start writing my book. And I made the most progress during those first few months. And when life started getting in the way (life - you know - the "um, you gotta have money to support yourself and your son" ) thats kind of when the first gush flush flow dwindled down to a trickle.

And I joined facebook. So I spent lots of time posting on the groups. I collected friends, added lots of retarded applications which, at the outset, were fun. (Although as time wore on, I refused to accept any more - the novelty wears off) Although not writing as part of one long narrative, the various one-liners and opinionated posts did advance and open up other writing skills. Plus I met my person on facebook. As it turns out, he did more for my writing than anyone or anything else.

After the first two months, I put our our facebook correspondance into a word document and we ended up with over 200 pages. No idea - after 19 months what the word count is but well, it probably rivals Aran Rands book - although hopefully more useful than a big object to throw at someone.

Anyways, although actual word count on my book has not increased by a whole lot in the meanwhile, research and writing articles and listening to podcasts, reading a lot of books and articles has certainly helped me inch forward and improve.

I am the instant gratification type of person. So, its been a lesson learning patience and that the craft of writing is a skill not acquired in days or weeks but a continuous word adventure throughout your entire life.

I take endless notes, jot down phrases, quotes, soundbites I hear on any surface I have handy. And to further improve my skills, I have enrolled at uni - majoring in English and American Studies. Currently living in a non-english speaking country, I figured this would be helpful since all the lectures are in English.

So, yeah, as far as enriching my vocabulary, my understanding of the language - I think I am doing the right thing.

Now all I have to do is actually finish something. And sell it. Thats the hard part. I mean, calling myself a writer is all fine, but I will feel like a bit of a fraud until I actually sell something.

Maybe I should take the Van Gogh attitude. Or Bukowski - persistence.

Ok, I am a writer.

I am writing after all , aren´t I?

"Great Writers aren’t just people who put together words in pretty ways. They are people are pick apart and put together THE WORLD. They have this internal vision, and they convey this to you"

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