Pieces of You
When writing a story, inevitably there are pieces of you that leak out, whether an idea, a belief, an opinion, a memory, something you like, something you hate, someone you know, a personality trait of someone you know, an event, a pet, or anything at all that might be connected to you in some way, these are all pieces of You.
Sometimes, we might take a memory from the past and think, What if? What if instead of moving to Jersey I would have moved to Italy? The possibilities of using what if’s in our story are many, and each open doors to the infinite, as far as the imagination can go.
Although the story comes from the writer’s inspiration and hand, little pieces of reality color the black and white pages.
Writing for a Higher Purpose
Why do you write? Have you ever thought about it? Many writers dream to see their work published, or the movie come out, and their name in the best seller’s list. This is all good, and striving for the best should always be there in our most important to do list. However, we run into problems when this is all we care about, and all we strive for – becoming published and known. When you put such amount of pressure on yourself, creativity will suffer. When your focus becomes something else outside writing, and your attention leaves the page, your work suffers. When being published becomes more important than writing, you have lost yourself as a writer.
When listening to best-selling author’s being interviewed, most of them express that they love to write, and they would not have it any other way. They are thrilled at how things have turned around for them, but number one seems to be the love for writing. And by loving what they do, and doing what they love, the money seems to come at the right time.
You may think writers have to eat too. And that is the absolute truth, however, you can make an income without losing focus. It is when your attention is taken away from the story and put on the $$$ that your work will become weak.
Why not write for a Higher Purpose instead?
When a Book Happens
When does a book happen? I thought about that for a while. Many writers have manuscripts piled, many rejected, others awaiting completion, others just waiting … stories waiting to be read. This got me thinking, a story has been put into paper, in a way it has been told, even if it has not been read yet by many. In that sense, a story brews in the writer’s mind and it is born once it is put on paper (or PC). A book is more complicated than that. A book is born when it is read – a book happens when someone reads it. The story has been dormant for how many years it might have taken, and the simple act of reading awakens it.
Magic Versus Grounding
How do you like to write your fiction? Do you like magical settings and characters, or do you like some grounding elements that may give the story more realism? I would choose one or the other for good continuity. The Harry Potter books are a good example of magical worlds. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga is an example of grounding a magical and fictional world. She gave her vampires and werewolves characteristics of nature or used cultural folklore to make her settings and characters more real to the reader.
To ground a fictional story you can utilize science as well. You can stretch the imagination of the reader but still keep a small piece tied to the ground.
James Patterson – Genius of all Trades
I cannot think any other way when thinking about Best-selling author James Patterson – the man is a genius, not only as a writer but as a business man in the writing business. He seems to know what readers want, and he seems to love what he does. I love his lay-back demure and every time I see him being interviewed he conveys this message thru his attitude and personality – “All is well” – no matter the deadlines and pressures of everyday living – “All is well.” He is truly the Valium of all writers. If I feel a bit crazy and anxious about what’s going on at the moment or any projects, I play an online interview with James Patterson, and it truly relaxes me. It may sound weird, but it works for me. You should give it a try, if you are feeling tense with your work or any other daily craziness.
James Patterson is a Genius of all trades. He has managed to please and captivate readers of all ages and literary likes. Here is an example of what I mean. With Miracle on the 17th Green, he manages to be inspirational. He manages to capture young readers with the Maximun Ride series, and gives them kid adventure. Worst Case is for the mystery lovers, who like cops and homicide cases. Witch and Wizard is loved by kids and young adults, but by adults too. Is there anything he can’t do?
One thing is for sure, the man knows what he is doing, and he is an inspiration to aspiring writers.
The Magic of Best-selling Authors
What is the key to enchanting writing? What is the secret of best-selling authors? I am sure that most of us, at one point, have been captivated with a book from a favorite author – being that person a best-selling author or not. How do best-selling authors get to captivate so many readers? It seems natural to think that they plan their writing and target a certain section of the population to obtain readership. Right?
This could not be further from the truth. While being interviewed many best-selling authors have said that they write for themselves – as in the case of Stephenie Meyer or Lee Child. They say that they are honest to the story when writing, and they keep honest to the reader. They seem to be of the opinion that if you evoke feelings in yourself when writing the story, you will evoke feelings on the reader as well. Another trend is that they also mention how blessed they feel to be doing what they love – to write.
So there is no big secret of best-selling authors. It seems that they write with passion for themselves – and they love it.
Every writer is a writer.
At first glance this may seem as a sentence without much meaning or even much sense. However, what prompted me to write it was that it occurred to me that sometimes we are quick to criticize other’s work without going deeper. Some might stop reading at the first grammatical error they encounter, others at the first cliché. I have read about a best-selling author giving an opinion on another writer (now a best-selling author) and saying that the author did not know how to write. The author became a sensation overnight. I guess my point is that we should not judge or ill criticize the writing of others just because it does not follow our style and common rules. There are no Gods in the world of writing just writers.
One thing is to present a piece to the world that is poorly written and obviously, without much care – that shows in writing. Another, is to write different from the masses. We should work on improving our writing everyday.
What happens when writing does not meet your expectations?
There are many ways we can approach the answer to that question. It is a matter of individual experience, and whatever your expectations are as a writer. At one point or another we will ask that question to ourselves, to the writer inside, and we may or may not like the answer. Or maybe, we might not have an answer at all – at least yet.
Sometimes, you will work hard, and harder, but the results and rewards just don’t show up in a pretty package. What then? Do you beat yourself up? Do you get discouraged and stop writing? Do you take a break to clear your mind and find a new path? Do you just ignore your feelings and keep writing anyway? Maybe, you will think of another approach to your writing.
Whatever your answer, it is one that you must deal with to be able to find your way as a writer – I am still figuring that one. If writing is your passion, keep at it. If you have to try different approaches, then try them. If you need to take a break and clear your mind, then do so. Do what you have to do, and what you need to do to find your writing path. For some it will take longer than others. Look at the different life stories of best-selling authors. For some it happened fast, while others took years figuring out that they belonged writing.
I guess my point is, a true writer finds a path.
Change your daily routine – fool your Muse.
Most of us have a daily routine for writing. You might wake up early in the morning, turn your PC on, while waiting for a cup of coffee, or maybe you check your email right away. Well, one thing leads to another, task after task, and soon you are following your usual routine. Sometimes, you feel inspiration may have left you for a while, and you fall into a writing rut.
Sound familiar? It may take, a simple change, such as sitting outside to write (weather permitting) or just move to your living room with pen and paper instead of your PC, to break the rut and feel inspired once more. Maybe your Muse was asleep and you surprised her by changing your routine.
Give it a try, and see if it changes the atmosphere for you. Surprise your Muse!
Writing for Pleasure
You have deadlines to meet, and many writing projects awaiting you, but there are times when you just need to write for pure pleasure – just for you. It is important to nurture this part of writing and give it a place in your hectic schedule. If you only write because you want to get paid, you will be missing on this important aspect.
When you write for pleasure, you enter a realm of enjoyment, and you are opening the gates of inspiration. When this happens, ideas can come from anywhere, and you will experience the power of the written word. Many of us are so worried about making the deadlines and earning a living (out of necessity,of course) that we forget to take a bit of time to just relax and write for ourselves – just for the pure enjoyment of it.
From time to time, relive the early days of your writing career, and take a few minutes to write for the simple pleasure of it; recapture the magic.