What is a writer to do? You are interested in writing. You have a great idea you believe would make for a great book, but you are not sure if you can pull it off. You read a 1,001 articles that offer advice for beginning writers and each one sounds good. Then you realize that a lot of these articles contradict one another. This only adds to your confusion. Should you follow the advice from help book #1. But then help book #2 suggests that you do it another way. Everyone has some type of advice on how you should write, how your shouldn’t write, and that great idea you had beaming in your head is just that, an idea.
Forget any advice anyone gives you on how you should write. Just write. The first step in writing is to write. You may ask yourself, “Is my story good enough?” Maybe. Maybe not. But you won’t know if you barricade yourself behind a wall from the very beginning. Write.
When I was growing up, I wrote a ton of short stories, songs and poems. I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Yet, I didn’t share anything I wrote with anyone because I was afraid of negative feedback. I sheltered this part of myself for fear that this passion I had for the written word was not good enough. So, it remained my secret for a long time. Something happened as I got older, though. I wanted to see what other people thought of my writing. I was curious to know what other peoples thought Did I have what it took to be a good writer?
As It turns out, my short stories were not very good. I heard the first few critiques and I wanted to bury my head deep in the sand and give up. But, I still had this passion for writing. I took some advice, well, actually, I read every writing advice book I could and thought I could turn out something better. I got so consumed with obtaining knowledge, I spent more time reading people’s advise on writing that I hadn’t written anything. I would always put it off. Tomorrow I will write became the trend. I realized that it was a defensive barrier I had put around myself. No one could tell me that my writing wasn’t good if there was no writing to critique. I let fear imprison me. Instead of working to improve my own writing abilities, which I knew I possessed, or at least hoped I did, I chose to hide.
That’s when I made a pledge to myself. A Writer’s Pledge.
I write. It is my passion. My desire. I am my biggest fan. I am my biggest critic.
The point is, we can’t worry about how good or how bad something is without first trying. Not everyone will write a best seller. But if you love writing and it gives you joy beyond anything else you can imagine, you owe it to yourself to follow your passion no matter where it leads you. Make your own Writer’s Pledge. You will hear people say to write for the readers you hope to have. Find a genre and write toward that. There is a lot of good advice out there but first, you need to just write. Once you begin that process, you will learn something about yourself and something about your writing. Advice is good, don’t get me wrong, but not at the expense of your creative process.
Pick up a pen. Let your fingers stretch across the keyboard. Dust off the typewriter.
The time is write now.