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Tall and Weird

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My tips for writing stuff [Dec. 14th, 2013|10:34 pm]
Tall and Weird
A different kind of post for me today, peeps and strangers. I thought I'd share with you the process by which I shattered the crap out of my writer's block.

The steps are arduous but in the long run you'll understand where I'm coming from. Well... actually there's only one step but it is a biggie. And there are sub-steps to it but more on them later.

The Tall and Weird Way to Break Through Writer's Block

Step Primus: Write.

That's it. Just fucking write until you get sick of vomiting your random thoughts onto the page. And then write some more.

After my accident (it happened years ago now) where I was seriously lucky to suffer relatively minor physical injuries, I couldn't write. I came up with some random, disconnected ideas but I didn't write anything.

In desperation, I bought a lineless spiral bound book about the size of half an A4 piece of paper. Hundreds of utterly blank pages waiting for whatever shit poured out of me. I grabbed a pen and started writing. Any crap I thought of splattered against the page in a messy scrawl.

I examined everything and ran with every scrap. I delved deep into my worries and my fears and they're all there too.

And a funny thing happened - I started feeling both less and more towards my writing. Less in that it did not matter what went on the page as long as the blank space shrank. The lamest jokes, the most whiny rubbish you can imagine, whatever - it did not matter. There was no need to make it perfect because it was never meant to be perfect.

But the more of it is something special. I rediscovered the me of what I wrote. Sounds silly but there it is. I could put more of me of the page and that was a good thing.

Now, thanks to that little blue binder, I can pretty much anywhere at any time. It is good.

Step Primus: Sub-step 1: Write what you want.

My mother always used to tell me that I should write this or that. Her suggestions did not appeal to me. I wanted to write whatever I wanted.

Writing should be fun and forcing yourself to write what other people think you should write isn't fun.

My stories are all quite nuts. There's no common theme, no overriding story arc destined to bring all my varied and disparate characters together. Each piece is distinct and individual. I have more sarcastic main characters than I know what to do with.

But that's me. You write differently, I know you do. And that's fine. You write exactly what you want to write.

Step Primus: Sub-step 2: Write it down.

Seriously. Put it all on paper and then fix it. Don't stop your story because you can't think of the first line. Don't stop because you don't think Savage McNasty wouldn't actually kill a kitten. Don't stop for anything.

Write it down. Until you finish your first draft, you got nothing but ideas and ideas aren't worth squat. You can have all the ideas in the world but they are as without substance as the wind. They might bowl you over but you want them to bowl everyone over. And just an idea isn't going to come close to doing that.

Step Primus: Sub-step 3: Write knowing you can, and will, change it.

Some writers believe their work to be precious. I don't fault them for that because I love all my stories. The writers that think their work is perfect are the ones I find faulty.

It is not perfect. You may have sweat blood and burnt every bridge to get your masterpiece on paper but no sacrifice will make your work perfect. It can always be better. Even established writers with hundreds of published works will tell you they would've tweaked this bit or that bit.

Let it grow and not wither in the darkness.

Anyway, I think that's enough of that. Have fun y'all!
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