Writing is hard work, except for when it’s not.
I’ve been really pushing working on my book, hoping to get the first draft finalized before the Guild Wars 2 head start date (August 25). I want a free mind for diving into playing – plus it was a handy solid goal to set for myself.
As far as accomplishing that goal….there’s still time, but I’m having my doubts.
The problem I’ve always had with writing is that it seems to either be effortless or impossible. Either the words just flow from my mind to my fingers to the screen, or I stare there sitting at the cursor blinking at me mockingly. Lately it’s been more of the latter.
When I was in grade school I had a terrible time writing. Finally I asked a teacher for help – I explained that I could think up wild stories in my head and could even tell an okay tale but had an impossible time actually writing anything down. I asked what the problem might be and how I could go about becoming a better writer. Her answer: I was just lazy and obviously not trying hard enough. Not exactly helpful advice.
Luckily I had other people in my life to ask. My mother and my best friend both had excellent advice that has helped me to this day. The two bits of advice were amazingly simple but made all the difference.
- There is no Right and Wrong way to write.
- If you can tell a story you can write a story.
The first seems simple but was pretty big. I was caught in the idea that there was One True Way to tell a story and was convinced I was always doing it wrong. The pressure of doing it Right was often enough to just blank my mind to nothing.
The second was really the eye opener though. To this day I keep this rule in mind. If I’m blocked or stuck on a particular piece I just start talking out loud. Or I imagine a conversation between myself and a friend – how would I tell the story to them? Then I just write all that down, minus the hand gestures and non-words of course. ;)
It’s worked out really well. I may not sound perfect or scholarly, but I sound like me. I like sounding like me.
I’ve had to remind myself of these tips when writing my book. I have this idea that A Book is a certain type of writing and needs to be Proper. I had an epiphany a few months back; this was my book and I could make it any way I wanted. If I wanted it to be a picture book with short stories I could do that. If I wanted it to be all in limericks, that was my call. If I wanted to skip whole parts of my adventure that was up to me to decide. There is no right way when I’m the creator. It was a pretty liberating realization.
As for if I’ll reach my self appointed deadline….we shall see. Lately the writing has been more on the impossible side rather than the effortless, but I just keep chugging along and reminding myself it doesn’t have to be perfect etc. Eventually it’ll get done. Eventually….