Writing advice.

On That Other Site I Spend Too Much Time On, I recently received the following question:

darknpretty asked: How do you get over the fear of writing and just plow through it?

Now, while I have been blocked all to fuck of late (struggling through a mere 1,100 words of three short scenes has been like wading through treacle), I know it’s not through the fear of writing. So there are a few words I can offer, and these are the ones I sent back:

hold two mutually contradictory ideas in your head:

  1. the thing you have to write is the most important thing that can ever be said and it has to be you that says it, because no one else will say it the same way (and when you have finished, you have made a thing exist in the world that never existed before, and that is powerful magic)
  2. writing is like taking a poop. it has to be done. the end result may be total fucking garbage but guess what? you get infinite other goes at it. you can do it as many times as you need to, to get what’s needed said. this applies whether you’re writing passionate rhetoric about the need for democratic reform in your country or whether you’re writing 100 words of teen wolf ovipositor fisting coffee shop au; you get as many goes as it takes. it doesn’t matter if you fuck it up. it doesn’t matter that it categorically will not be perfect. everyone needs to edit.

(basically do not fear the blank page. you are the boss of words, and you can fuck ‘em up as much as you like. just like drawing. start with a damn scribble; write the scene backwards; pretend everyone involved is farting all the way through their dialogue; wear a party hat while you write. it’s an amazing and incredible act of creation but you don’t have to take it seriously).

Now, if anyone has any advice on how to yank the remaining 4,000 words out of my ass and actually tell a coherent story, I’d welcome them.


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