I’ve been writing for longer than you think. I’ve been writing for longer than I think sometimes. I used to write fiction, had five novels on the go. Used to write short stories longhand. On my bedroom floor. When I was 25. I used to draft things, even when people said to leave that shit in. I used to type my writing at 3 in the morning, while blasting music I found on Napster. That’s how far back we go. Even farther than that.
I used to run writers groups for young writers that I am now OFFICIALLY too old for.
I got some stuff workshopped at Uni, had stuff in school papers. They spelled my name wrong. Twice. It ain’t that hard.
Then I left. To write. To travel. To get over myself. And others.
I also left the novels unfinished. The poems well-hidden.
I took jobs where I edited other people’s writing. My red pen was purple. I wrote 5O word artist bios, research reports. Stuff with charts. And numbers. Company newsletters, life-coaching worksheets.
And then, Neil says one night, ‘I’ve never read anything that’s yours.’
I started this blog to write stuff that was mine, that might be enjoyed by people who aren’t Neil. Or my parents.
I tried a thousand words of fiction. Again. They got burned.
We moved here and I thought about hiding and writing and actually finishing something.
I spend A LOT of time telling others they should be writing. And it’s true. You should be. But so should I.
But before I start again, I’ve thought about HOW.
And this is what I got.
Write like nobody’s reading. Yet.
Write for you. But write with someone in mind. Write to them. Tell them everything.
Write dialog like real talk. Because that’s what it is.
Aim for 500 a day. Less is OK. More is gravy.
Work on your schedule. I can’t write at 3am anymore. After I’ve had coffee, I am a morning writer. Those people used to scare me. But I get it now. Thank you.
Don’t talk. Write. Write now.
Screen your calls. Ignore everyone but your children. If your children are being annoying, work it in somewhere.
Write more than you talk, but read more than you write.
Do you. If you write better with music on, blast it. If you don’t, don’t. Loud depressing music with intricate lyrics used to work for me. Not so much anymore. Now I prefer instrumental stuff. Like the dishwasher.
Put your heart on the page. Or the screen. Or that envelope on your kitchen table.
And if it sounds like writing, re-write it.
What works for you?
Tell me everything.
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Also published on Medium.