Since I returned from my trip of learning I’ve not written a word of fiction. Suddenly it seems like I still have so much to learn that everything I may have written so far is just plain rubbish. Of course, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Writing is learning process – we learn by writing. If this is the case, then I must have learnt a whole lot because I’ve done more writing in the past year than I have since I was a teenager noting down my emotional angst.
But: what have I learned? It’s all well and good knowing that by writing I am progressing, yet if I don’t reflect on it then what am I really understanding about this process?
Here are a few things I think I’ve learnt over the last year or so just by writing more often.
- Self-motivation is a key ingredient when attempting to write a novel
- Some words are always better than no words
- Characters will sometimes not fit into that tiny little box you have crammed them into, and if they do then they’re probably not a fully-rounded character
- Day-dreaming is a legitimate activity that exercises the creative mind
- Writing isn’t easy for anyone – there always tends to be at least one element that doesn’t come naturally
- The difference between show and tell is like the difference between a movie and an instruction booklet
- Setting goals for which rewards are necessary makes for a pleasant writing life
- No matter what: if you’re writing, you are a writer
There are probably lots more that I haven’t remembered, but these are the ones that spring to mind right now. I feel like I should be noting down these little gems of advice whenever I come across them in my writing, just so that I can list them up to either remind myself why I love doing this or to help me in my editing process.
I suppose if I think about it the one key piece of advice I would give to those people striving to be a writer is to keep writing…and that’s a tip I should probably take to heart today.