This quote from William Zinsser [On Writing Well is his best-known work.] takes an opposite tack to yesterday’s Writing With No Direction post.
Writing is linear and sequential; Sentence B must follow Sentence A, and Sentence C must follow Sentence B, and eventually you get to Sentence Z. The hard part of writing isn’t the writing; it’s the thinking. You can solve most of your writing problems if you stop after every sentence and ask: What does the reader need to know next?
The ordinary writer is bound to be assailed by insecurities as he writes. Is the sentence he has just created a sensible one? Is it expressed as well as it might be? Would it sound better if it were written differently? The ordinary writer is therefore always revising, always chopping and changing, always trying on different ways of expressing himself, and, for all I know, never being entirely satisfied.
“The only thing I’ve got better at as the years have gone by is I’ve grown more resigned to the fact that it comes hard. You realize that hesitation and frustration and waiting are part of the process, and you don’t panic. I get a lot better at not panicking. I get up every morning early if it’s a writing day and I will do nothing else but write that day. But the secret is not to panic if it doesn’t come.”
While I’m sure these first two quotes exist elsewhere, I found them courtesy of Jon Winokur. By the way, one of my favorite books? W.O.W. [Writers on Writing] by Jon Winokur.
As far as I’m concerned, “whom” is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.
You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.
No matter how grand or ordinary your idea, you must take it through an alchemical process that transforms it into a story.
1. When you’re speaking in the truest, most intimate voice about your life, you are speaking with the universal voice. [Just last night I dove into a fairly serious topic. It was okay, but it just wasn’t fun to write, especially in the revision stage. I’m not sure if I’ll find that universal voice…and do I even care to?]
CHERYL STRAYED #amwriting#writing #writinglife
2. #Editing is the same thing as quarreling with writers. Same thing exactly. HAROLD ROSS #amwriting#publishing[Whew-boy, was I rediscovering that this morning…]
Miserable Day Job Turns Into $100,000 Side Income https://sidehustleschool.com/episode/43 This person used her blog to side-hustle her way out of her job. These eight-minute podcasts might just nudge you to venture forward yourself.
Jon Winokur @AdviceToWriters “Outlines are the last resource of bad fiction writers who wish to God they were writing masters’ theses.” –STEPHEN KING
Just one opinion, but geez, this guy just might know something about the writing business.
So, if, unlike Stephen King, you’re at least straddling the fence on outlining, Steven Pressfield’s foolscap method might just provide that happy medium. http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2011/04/the-foolscap-method/ Key words: “Shut up and begin.” There are plenty of other resources that explore the foolscap method of diving into a writing project.