Writer’s Wisdom 12

“There is only one way to tell a story and that is to tell it.”  Elizabeth Gilbert for Borders

Many of us have  ideas for future books, floating around in our head; lack of inspiration is not the problem here.  It is the fear to commit to put our words, our story, on paper (or pc screen).  We keep playing with the ideas and procrastinate, saying to ourselves, “It is not good enough, when it becomes clearer in my mind, i’ll start writing it.”  The problem is that unless you start writing, it won’t become clear; you’ll have tons of ideas bouncing around, begging to be written, so a story can be born.  If you have trouble committing to an idea for a book, then I suggest that you create short outlines of each, and leave them aside.  Then, pick one and work on that one alone.  Pretty soon your story will start taking shape, and you will become committed to the story.  It is important that the word gets written so it can start taking form.

It all starts with putting the first word down; forget about being perfect for now. Just write the story, you can worry about editing once the story is completed.  If you get stuck in the middle, take a break, give your characters room to breathe, pondering time.  Most likely, they will emerge with new force, and your plot will become stronger, energized.  Just make sure not to fall again into the trap of procrastination .  During this short break, mind your story, don’t disconnect from it.  Be aware of new sources of inspiration around you.  When your short break is over, plug back in, and start writing.

There is only one way to tell the story, write it down.

Writer’s Wisdom 11

“The book inside your head”

“You have to live with the book in your head all the time, even when living your normal daily routine.”– Michael Chabon (on an interview with Borders)

When you are writing a book, besides living with your family, you are living with your characters – in another dimension.  “Your characters will pop up like mushrooms” (to quote Jody Picoult), and you better listen to what they have to say.  Daily living circumstances can give you ideas for your plot.  An interesting woman/man at the supermarket can become part of your book, a conversation, an incident …

Some writers go away for a week or two to write; Michael Chabon is an example.  If you have an extremely busy or complicated life, and going away is not an alternative, then be mindful of your book.  Be on the look, aware of what surrounds you, who and what you see, and the sounds you hear – engage your senses.  Live with your book, with your characters.  Talk to them, you’ll be surprised at how many times, they will come up with an answer – just the right one, when you were struggling with it.  Feel the magic all around you.  Be mindful of your writing!