There, I’m done. Goodnight folks!
But seriously, there’s nothing to it, but to do it. Schedules, responsibilities, social life, sleep, and excuses be damned. Just write. If you have a 9 to 5, write on your lunch break. If you have kids, write while they’re at school or asleep. If you’re on death row… well, you better get started quickly. Everyone has twenty-four hours to a day. What you do with that time is up to you.
If you can only write for an hour once a week; it’s better than not writing at all. Nothing is impossible. It just takes longer. At least in a year, you’ll have something to show for it.
I hate when authors give interviews in their tweed jackets and university ensemble and offer that same tired ass advice, but unfortunately it SO true. Here’s why. Your vocabulary will improve. You can broaden your horizons as far as description, world-building, and symbolism. Reading will help a writer research their genre and to see what’s already been done to death.
For example: I will NEVER in my life write a vampire/werewolf book. Why? Because everybody and their mother wrote one. Innovative writers are in luck, because originality is in short supply. Don’t be scared to branch out and be weird. Don’t be a poor-man’s anything; be a rich-man’s you.
My advice: read as much as you write, and for every FIVE books you read, allow TWO of them to be bad. I mean bad! I mean, you-wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-with-it-in-your-hand-so-you-have-to-hide-it-in-the-back-of-the-closet BAD. This helps you point out the flaws in your own writing and learn what not to do. Also, in a sick and twisted way, it just feels good to pick fun of bad writing. It may sound mean, but hey, I still laugh when old people fall.
As for the good books, look for the classics, Pulitzer Prize winners, or authors you admire…and then cry yourself to sleep for your inadequacy.
Learn from the masters and take notes. I have a notebook full of cool words, phrases, and odd descriptions’ that I use for my writing. DO NOT plagiarize! But if you find a new word for blue, then use it.
Don’t be scared that what you write sounds corny or awkward. That’s what editing is for. I know so many writers who never get past the first chapter because they want to get it right the first time.
BREAKING NEWS: NO ONE GETS IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!
By the time you’ve polished one area; you’re thrown off track, or worse, completely forget your idea. Finish your complete thought and go back and edit.
Good ideas are like the McRib; here for a limited time only. Seize every moment to write, take every opportunity to read and you’ll be one step closer to perfection.