Monday, March 9, 2015

Advice For Writers #27: Writing As A Whole

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm bringing us back to ALMOST the very beginning. Writing. Writing the first draft. Writing the start, the first chapter, of the story. The prologue. Whatever is the first part of your first draft (I have to admit that I almost never use prologues). 

So this is after you find a plot bunny, after you written your little synopsis (as a guideline), after you written out your characters... Or maybe not. Some of you guys like to jump with your eyes close.

(I can never do that. It is like jumping off a cliff without a parachute to me). 

Okay. So you are right at the start of the story. About to create a new world out of words, ink, your blood, the devil's bargain, and your soul (which has been given to the devil, of course). There is going to be a lot of tears involved, and I think we all asked this: Why are we doing this? 

What is the purpose of writing? Of writing stories? Of writing new worlds? Of creating?

We probably know that writing will never support us financially. We know that writing is an art, a three letter word our mothers never want to hear in the same sentence as "job" and "living." 

So why are we doing this? 

Why are we writing a 75,000 word (less or more, for some people) story? Why are we devoting so much of our time to it?

I think a lot of us feel that. Some of us probably thought that writing a new story would be fun! For enjoyment! For making a new world and new story to entertain themselves or other people. But others...

So why do we write? 

I want you all to ask yourselves that question. Why do we write? Why? Why? Why?

Look in places you'd never looked. Look for answers in places where there seems to be none. 

When you find it, write it down on a post-it and keep it somewhere safe. When time comes by and you find yourselves wondering why you have a 300-page manuscript sitting at the bottom of your closet, open up that post-it and find at out why you wrote the book.

Why do I say this? Because someday, maybe tomorrow, three months, five years, twenty years, we are going to forget about that reason (and maybe even where we put that post-it note). And we are going to be at the bottom of the well, and we are going to ask ourselves: Why in the world did I spend so much time writing that story?

When you forget, open up that post-it note and remember why you started writing in the first place. Because who knows? Maybe it'll remind you of why writing is worth it. Why it might or might not be worth that devil's bargain (yes, I'm still going on about that even though it isn't Halloween). 

Happy Reminiscing! 

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