Sunday, 11 August 2013

On Writing

As I was sitting down yesterday to plow through some minor revisions in The Demon in Him, I realized just how far I've come. Only a year ago did I decide to get more serious about my writing. I decided to challenge myself, to force myself to try new things with my writing. In the past 12 months, I've learned many things about myself and my process.

I've learned that I can write a book. With a little help from NaNoWriMo, I learned that I am fully capable of sitting down and churning out some fiction. I also learned that while "pantsing" is fun, I am far more productive if I have an outline of some sort. It gives me direction and keeps me grounded. Outlining is not the death of spontaneity. I always thought it would be, but I was wrong. I learned that no matter what I write, there's going to be romance in it. Why? Because I love a good love story.

I don't wait for inspiration anymore. I write for inspiration. The more I write the more inspired I become. The more I write the more ideas I get; the clearer I see my story. Writing begets writing.

I learned that I don't want to be tied down to a specific genre for the rest of my writing career. Some people are happy only writing in one genre, but I highly doubt that will be me. I have a vast array of interests and ideas and I want to explore them all. I want to push my boundaries even further and see what I'm made of.

I learned that not everyone is going to care. It's sad, but it's true. Even some of  your loved ones won't care about your work the way you wish they would. They will never care about your writing like you will care about your writing, but that's not the end of the world. The most important thing is not if your family and friends embrace your writing, but that you embrace your writing. It's your passion, not theirs. Don't let their lack of enthusiasm ruin your special moments and your awesome achievements. They just don't get it.

I learned that it's awesome to have writer friends, and that writers envy isn't always a bad thing. If you have a writer friend that is achieving the things that you want to achieve, it's not always a bad thing to let yourself be envious of them. Feel jealous. Sit back and ask yourself the question "What are they doing, that I'm not?"

Try new things. Stretch your wings. I've done a fair amount of experimenting these past months, and sometimes the results have been less than ideal. I'm okay with that. I've learned more through experimenting than I have through any other means. Reading about writing is fine and all, but I have much more fun writing. Even if the end product ends up in the garbage, chances are I still had fun writing it. I've also learned to love revisions. Revisions are a whole new opportunity to write something even better. Embrace the process.

The most important thing I've learned is that no one is going to give me time. No one is going walk into my house and say "Here, I've got this. You can go write now." No. It's not going to happen. Writing time doesn't just magically fall from the sky when you have three kids to love and care for everyday. I have to make the time. I have to scrape it and wring it out of every single day. Time is the greatest gift, and I can give it to myself.

My advice to you is this. Push your boundaries. Break through your barriers. Write new things. Learn. Love. Explore. Make time for your passion. Embrace your quirks. Evolve. Grow. Nurture your talent. Live in the moment. Write in the moment. Let your writing be wild. Be free. Be everything you never thought you could be.


  1. That's great! You've learned some really valuable lessons that some new writers take years to learn. Continue to enjoy the process. While writing is work, if you're not having fun you're probably doing it wrong.

    Good luck with your novel.

  2. I'm glad to hear you've steered away from 'pantsing' I never felt comfortable with it, so much can go wrong. Stephen King is an advocate for pantsing, and although he's a great writer, his endings are very flat and often quite disappointing. After all, a work is judge in total on its ending.

    Great advice all the way, Mariah. :D

    1. Pantsing is definitely fun, but I think, for me at least, that it is better suited to shorter fiction. Pantsing my way through an entire novel yielded very poor results. It's a good tool for brainstorming as well, or as something to do just for fun, but I will probably never pants my way through an entire novel again.