Psst! You! Hey, you! Come over here! I have a great secret to tell you! Now that I have your attention, I have a something to tell you about writing. You ready? Here it is: There is no secret! You heard me right. There is no secret to writing. You either pick up pen and paper, sit at a desk and start writing, or you start tapping away at the keyboard. That’s it! How hard can it be? You can talk to hundreds of authors and ask them what their secret is to writing. Simple answer, they sit down and they write. Maybe they’re working on an outline or writing out the entire book from start to finish. The one thing they all have in common: they are writing. That’s the secret.
No need to make excuses about being unable to write. Most people have the ability. Those of us who choose to become published authors, we place a burden on ourselves. Sometimes the burden seems too much to bear, but we made our choice. You can read all the books published on writing, but none of them has the secret formula to write a best seller. Mind you, reading books about writing is a good thing, I do that too. However, I set time aside in the evening for reading and spend the rest of my time writing and editing. More often than not, I end up falling asleep while reading.
You need to sit yourself down and write. One thing I’ve started doing is writing short personal essays. Rarely do they go beyond five hundred words, but this allows me to tap into my emotions and express them in words. This lets the reader feel what I was feeling. Yes, it is hard and on a couple of them I shed a few tears because of the memories involved, but I was writing.
If you are planning on writing a novel, do some exercises to warm up. Write interviews with the characters in your book. This will allow you to get to know them better. They can be as short or as long as you want them to be. Heck, why not have one of your characters interview you? Work on an outline, write up brief biographies of your characters; whatever you need to do, get the words down.
If you don’t write every day, what’s the point? You need to develop the habit of writing if you want to make progress in your chosen life path. After all, practice makes perfect. At least that’s what we tell ourselves when we write. Remember, once you get something written, you need to edit it and probably revise what you wrote; but that’s part and parcel of being a writer.
I can’t stress this enough — if you are serious about becoming an author, you must write every day! Don’t make excuses like you’re too tired or you turned off your computer already. Grab pen and paper and put down some words. If you spend time writing stuff on Facebook, that doesn’t count. Write something that happened to you at work or at school. Write a description of how the sky looked at sunset. What was the weather like? How did it make you feel?
Are you sure the secret of writing isn’t out there somewhere? I’m sure. The secret of writing lies within each of us who write. We have an insatiable need to write. An addiction to the written word. A need to express ourselves in our stories through our characters. Let the words flow, my friend. Let the words flow.
May the words ever flow!