Mysteries of Writing
There are a lot of mysteries it seems when it comes to writing. If you look at the expert advice on the how-tos, certain things are clear: it takes hard work, a regular schedule, and constant openness to ideas and learning to succeed. There’s no getting away from the fact that you have to apply yourself to write. You can’t spend all day on the internet (unless you’re researching and even then, you should write a portion of that time) and expect to see results. We won’t even get into the business-side of it in this blog either. We’re just going to focus on the unknowns.
Like our Muse. What is it? Inspiration for sure. But how does it happen? What gets the wheels of it turning? Most of the time, luck, I think. Ideas happen all the time. Threading them together can make the difference between a ho-hum and a great one. Everyone goes about this in different ways. Some writers like music, others like television or the movies, still more, a good book. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s all good. Just get those little flirtations started so that they can grow into the real thing.
So how do we pick and choose the right one? Again with the luck. It just happens. Do you think Suzanne Collins sat down one day and had the full-blown plot to the Hunger Games books right in the palm of her hand? No, she plotted. Plotted some more. And then got to the writing. I don’t know the trick to guaranteeing the best-seller, but I do know if I string together ideas, sometimes magic reveals itself. I hit upon the right plot points for a book by trying things out until I’m satisfied—and most importantly, excited about a project.
Then you just keep going until it’s finished. Revise. Revise some more. And ta-dah, you’ve got something to work with. No, it’s not easy and doesn’t happen overnight. Fame and fortune strike those it fancies. Were it otherwise, wouldn’t we all crack the code to millionaire land? The point is: no one can tell you to do this, this, this, and this and you’ll become an instant success. It’s all a mystery. We writers chase our dreams, hope, pray, sometimes go without a long time, and then one day our moment comes to shine. I don’t have a fast track to get there but I know it’s in not giving up.
No one can take those steps for you. YOU have to do the work, learn your lessons, nail the story. It’s all going to be your road, your decisions, what works for you. You could walk away, sure but isn’t it worth more to dig your heels in and go that extra mile? Yes, there are mysteries of writing that can’t be broken down into a formula other than this one: plant yourself in the chair, and WRITE. That’s the best advice anyone can offer.