Monday, October 12, 2015
The Ethereal vs the Real!
I have been writing steadily since I was fourteen years old. I have published two books and have been writing as a published author for over two years.
In that time I have been asked by writers just starting out for advice on how to get started or what they should do.
I think about that question a lot because I don't think any of us really know. I mean even big time authors can give examples, but often say things like, 'that worked for me' or 'this may help you'.
The fact is sometimes things just click and through a lot of hard work, perseverance and a bit of luck some of us find success.
I think there are many mistakes people make when starting out, but tonight I got to thinking about a big one.
When you get that good idea and it just really hits you. It is like falling in love. You want to hold it close to you and just live in it.
This is not a bad thing, it is an integral part of all great stories.
So what is the problem?
Well, the problem is this love is a lie.
It is like falling in love with someone you have never really met. They can seem amazing and everything you want, but the truth is they don't live in the real world with you. They don't go through the stress of everyday life with you. They are this ethereal idea of love.
This idea you have for a story is the same.
The reason is a book has to have order to make it work. You have to tell a story. It has to make sense and be told in a way that is compelling. When you take this amazing idea and start bashing at it to conform to a book, it stops being this perfect thing.
The result of this is we feel like the idea is bad, or worse that we are not good enough for the idea.
Both of these things can be true. The problem comes when we cling to the idea and keep it from letting us go forward. I spent ten years doing this. To think where I would be had I just let that idea go sooner.
There is a lot of merit to letting yourself just write for yourself. Just sit down and start telling a story that no one will read. When you're done tell another and another and another until you have the confidence to say, "This is good, someone should read this."
Ethereal is great, but real is better. Real is what you have when you complete something and if you do it enough you will be good at it. If you stay stagnant even the best ideas will turn into this bitter old thing that will drag you down with it.
Anyway, these are just some thoughts I had. I hope all is well. As always, have fun and keep writing.