Before I got serious about writing I didn’t know I wasn’t serious. I bought books on writing, blank journals and fancy pens. I would stock up on issues of Writer’s Digest and Zoetrope All Story. Let’s just say that if it wasn’t for me and my writing-retail therapy, perhaps Border’s would have hit rock bottom sooner.
The only thing that I didn’t do during that time was write. I read tons, about writing, how to write, when to write, what to write with, on, and about. What kind of food is conducive to writing and what never ever to do when writing, which turned out to be what to always do when writing, according to someone else.
The advice was so often contradictory that I’d get disheartened. And when it wasn’t contradictory it was so simple it had to be wrong. Write, every day. Keep writing. Don’t stop. For someone looking for alchemy this didn’t seem like the kind of advice that would turn any of my ideas to gold. I looked to the books on writing, to the interviews with authors, as a roadmap, steps I could follow, like Weight Watchers or programming the DVR.
Now I’m writing, every day and not stopping. Now I read about the industry and work on building a sustainable writing life. And I realize that I’ve always had a very particular way of creating, I just didn’t give it value, always looking to others to try to tell me how to do it. Tomorrow, I’ll have an interview with myself and I’ll ask myself to elucidate, just how do you write?
*Take the time to find your own way.