Share your insights

No article today guys, sorry.  A couple of things are kicking me around, so I’m retreating to my burrow to recuperate.

So I’d like to hear from you.  Share something you’ve learned from your journey as a writer.  I don’t mean a “writing rule”, I mean something you’ve learned about yourself or people or writing in general.

What I’ve learned is that, no matter what happens in my life, the stories never go away.  I turn around and there they are, waiting patiently.  I have a novel, 3 novellas and 14 short stories in my WIP tracker, all unfinished, but I just have to think about them and I can recall the plot and the ending for all of them.  All in my head, ready to write when I have the time.

So why can’t I remember to buy sugar?  Damn brain.

Your turn!  Tell me what you’ve learned as you’ve travelled the path on your writing journey.  Talk amongst yourselves.  I look forward to reading your responses!

19 thoughts on “Share your insights

  1. Perseverance is worth almost every other writing “secret” I’ve ever heard. Stick with it, don’t give up on your passion, and be determined to keep getting better at it, come hell or high water.

    As a corollary: Have some systems in place so that your life naturally encourages you to stick with it on the days you feel like screaming or throwing in the towel or, say, burning your work in progress in a midnight bonfire of rage. Habit can help you or hurt you, and it’s your job to line that up as you see fit. (It seems so stupid and basic I almost hesitated to write that last part. But maybe I’m not very bright, because it took me a while to figure that out, like a decade or so… ;))

  2. What I learned about myself? That I’m a really inpatient person… What I learned (and still learning) from my journey as a writer- that if I wish to be a published writer, I have no choice but to learn how to be a patient person :)

  3. Writing has liberated me in ways that I have yet to understand with a full depth of knowing.

    I accept that I’ll never be Lois Lowry or Cormac Mcarthy, but my words, my horrific poems, and my stories hold within their structure something that is important to me. I’m not sure that it matters anymore whether anyone else agrees. (That’s not exactly truth.) I know it no longer matters to me and I should not be ashamed of that revelation. I should not be ashamed to proclaim that I write not TO an audience, but only to fill my own need.

  4. I third Simon’s sentiment. Although, I already knew that I got cranky and/or crazy if I stopped writing. The last time I stopped writing for an extended period of time I hitchhiked across the country. Don’t worry, no one was (seriously) hurt in the making of this film.

    During the course of this workshop, though, I’ve learned that, with a full time job and a social calendar, it takes me about a week and a half to comfortably write a story. I’ve been feeling rushed and crammed, and my finishing dates have been getting later and later. This, I think, is in great part due to the next thing I learned- I like writing long. 6k. 10k. 12k. And I miss writing novels.

    The last thing I learned is that I can start another story after I’ve finished with one. I don’t need to wait a week, and twiddle my thumbs. I do need to wait a couple hours, at least, but I can finish a story in the morning, brainstorm in the afternoon, and write the first scene at night. I’m really glad I learned this one.

  5. I’ve learned that writing is really like therapy for me. I must, must, must write. I am rather introverted; I don’t hold a lot of conversations out loud. But when I write, boy. Sometimes I feel my insides exploding onto the paper.

  6. Here’s what I’ve learned – writing will always be there for me. No matter what the future brings, as long as I’ve got a few neurons firing between my ears, I’ll still be able to think up stories and try to put them into words. There is such comfort in that! Here is a wonderful quote attributed to Preston Sturges, a very successful Hollywood screenwriter of the 1940s, that sums it up nicely: “When the last dime is gone, I’ll sit on the curb outside with a pencil and a ten cent notebook and start the whole thing over again.”

  7. People are always learning. Thus they are always changing. I think I know something about a person (or my character) and suddenly they change. At first, it seems for no apparent reason but there is always something they have found that has made them different.
    If I am working on a story and don’t get to work on it I can get moody too. :)

  8. I figured out how to turn off that inner editor. I need to brainstorm, tackle key events, then let the characters drive the story. Most importantly, I need to just write.

  9. I’ve learned that hitting blocks in my writing, as in my life, is completely normal and regular – and that the solution is never to beat my head against it until something comes out but to turn away and work on something else. Trust the solution to come naturally. Trust intuition. Trust yourself.

  10. That a seeming benign occurrence in every day life can result in a life changing event and that message, that understanding of occasional epiphanies is what leads to some of the most interesting and profound work.

  11. Two things I’ve learned: although it’s harder than I ever imagined, getting the stories down on paper is more rewarding than keeping them inside; and there’s always another story waiting to take the place of a story set free.

  12. I’ve learned I get REALLY cranky if I don’t get to write for a while. Even blog posts and stuff will let me release the tension, but fiction’s the best expression of it. Speaking of which, I should go write tonight, before I yell at someone inappropriately…. :)

  13. Yes! I always worry if I don’t write an idea down it’ll go away, but the stories stay there ready to be written. And if I can keep track of 20 stories at a time, besides remembering all the plots etc for the numerous online serials I read, I often wonder why I can’t remember basic things like posting a letter to my cousin. :-D

  14. Writing for me is a creative process, one that if I wasn’t writing, beading or creating in some way, I would seriously go insane. My husband suffers from the same thing, except it has more to do with motorbikes! Quite often we say to each other – just go and … ride your motorbike… write a story… create a necklace. We know then that we have been grating on the other and the reason behind it.

    But more importantly, I have learnt that my writing, while I would love for it to one day be published, is for the fun of it. I write because it is something I love to do, and if I can make one person enjoy reading, then I am a success. I don’t think writing for me will ever be about the monetary value, although that would be a bonus!

    Get well soon Merilee, my thoughts and prayers are with you!

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