I am still gearing up for an announcement which I hoping to be able to make next week which could change the course of The Path for good. I am aware I am in danger of building this up, but I can’t help but be excited. A lot has happened since I set up this blog for the musings and deliberating of the process of writing fiction and I don’t think I would be the writer I am now without this journey. We’ve all come a long way together and I want to thank again everyone who has read, engaged and advised along the way.
This got me to thinking about everything I’ve learned so far. And there’s a lot. But even that ‘a lot’ is dwarfed by what there is left to learn. Luckily, one thing writers are never short of is advice It’s a very useful and generous trait of us as a gang, I feel. All of us struggle through mires and soar over mountain tops in pursuit of our craft and the whole time we have folk at our side urging us on and ready at ringside to rub our shoulders during our slumps.
I have found a lot of what I have heard from fellow writers, both in person and online, very helpful. Especially in the areas I am yet unfamiliar with: the whole publishing/marketing/formatting arena. There’s nothing that can be exchanged for experience and we are lucky that writers, new and established, are always willing to share theirs.
No one can tell you how to write. Guide? Yes. Inform? Yes. Advise? Definitely. On pretty much every aspect of any kind of wordsmithery you’ll be able to find out what other people think is the best/most effective/will be most rewarding. WordPress alone is awash with blogs like mine, dedicated precisely to this sort of thing. There are also magazines, taught courses and entire degrees as well as stacks of books on the subject. And it’s a good idea to seek it all out: it’s inspiring if nothing else.
But, no matter how much you read/absorb/listen to, you still have to find your own way. Hearing about other writers’ ways of doing things and doing it yourself are two very different kettles of fish. What works for someone else might not work for you, or it does but not in the way you expect.
But do not be disheartened! You find your own way by not stopping exploring. Just keep writing. Even if you’re stuck, even if it sucks, even if you think you might scrap the whole project and start again just keep going. If you write yourself into a hole, the only way to get out again is to write yourself back out. Keep going and discover the wrong ways of doing things as well as the right.
Oh, and always take advice, even this advice, with a pinch of salt. Be patient with it, the person has made an effort to help you, whatever you think of them or what they’re saying. It’s true that it will only be useful if you can apply it but even if you don’t agree with it, think about it hard before dismissing it. But there’s nothing to say you can’t dismiss it. After thanking them, obviously.
But, either way, Do It Yourself: keep on writing, learning discovering. You will write your way to awesome.
And if you are in any way coloured intrigued by my hints and teases about my announcement, keep your eyeballs on The Path next week to discover more. I promise I will share!