I started writing several years ago. As soon as I sat down at my computer and started transferring my thoughts to paper I was hooked. It was fun! All I had to do was let the idea flow towards my fingers and I was creating a novel. Many years and a few novels later, I got a publishing contract for ‘Betrayal’. Wonderful!
But I still feel like a greenhorn, an amateur, compared to all the prolific, talented, creative authors out there in the world. I don’t feel I have perfected the craft yet. So, I read blogs about writing. I research writing tips on the internet. I see references to websites on Twitter or Facebook. I follow them up and read more about the profession.
Now my head is swimming with all the advice. When I sit down to write, things don’t flow so easily. I keep thinking about all the do’s and don’ts of writing. I have to be careful about point of view. I have to worry about where my commas are. I can’t underwrite or overwrite. I have to show, not tell. I have to remember how important the hook is, but I also have to decide whose advice I will follow about how soon it should appear in the novel. I have to think about tension, conflict, rhythm, and flow.
It seems that every word I write has to be significant. What happened to the fun part? What happened to sitting down and letting the idea flow onto the paper? I have too much advice banging around in my head. It’s interfering with the important part – the story.
I finally decided that I have to ignore the advice. I have to go back to just writing. Get the idea and the story into the computer. Then I can worry about all the rest. If I have to go back and change a point of view, or a character’s tension or emotions, there will be time for that later. Maybe some writers can work with all the pressure of advice ringing in their ears, and they avoid the rewriting and editing later, but I guess I’m just not one of those writers.
So, thank you, everyone, for all your wonderful words of wisdom. I’m very happy you’re willing to share your experience with me. Believe me, I‘m taking it to heart, but I’m going to be ignoring it for a little while. I just need a little time to tell my story my way.