As writers, it’s not uncommon to require the need to wear several hats, sometimes at the same time. We’re creators, mothers, fathers, builders, mathematicians, scientists, researchers, teachers, and yes, even the child. We play all these roles that it seems natural to know that we’re confusing ourselves. It’ll become a mish mash of roles that have no beginning or ending, blending into one to fit under the title writer.
Then, to make it even more interesting for ourselves, we find that after the initial creation process is finished we have to switch the hats out to become editors, proofreaders, critics, and detached. To unglue the passion and territorial instincts to judge our piece. In short, it blends into the title of reader.
The problem, in my eye, is how to keep it all straight. In conversations with fellow writers I’ve found a myriads of approaches. Some write scene by scene then stitch it together like a seamstress. Others write it from start to finish, or from end to beginning. Then, during the writing many, I have found, edit while they write. They go back over what they’ve written before and make changes, updates, or rewrite the whole of it because it suddenly looks like crap. Others wait until they are done, just plowing through the manuscript until the fateful words saying The End.
Adding to our confusion is the books that are out about the ‘right’ way to write. The process that is guaranteed to work. Yeah, and I’m really Martina McBride writing this blog in disguise….
The simple fact is this in my opinion: There is no formula, no foolproof way to write a story/novel/poem/script.
A fact I’ve been trying to explain to certain individuals
for a while now because they have fallen prey to the common misconception, writing is easy because it’s just a matter of giving life to the story in our minds, of putting words to paper/screen. When I hear that all I’m able to do is shake my head and sigh. Whether from disappointment or exhaustion from explaining that it’s more complicated than that, I’m not sure. All I am sure of is that I wish people would stop publishing books that say “Follow our formula and you can have your first novel done in XYZ weeks” Just like I wish they’d stop showing ads that say “Loose 35 lbs in 6 weeks”.
While you’re buying either I also have this mysterious island that jumps through time for sale for you too! Only 10 million dollars and it’s yours, but if you call right now I’ll take off 1,000 off the asking price so call TODAY!
Now, the bite to my post today is not intentional, but honestly, I don’t know what bothers me more. Those who don’t write but give a river of advice on your story on how to approach it, or those who are trying to but want it to be an easy get rich quick scheme. I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes I feel like this wonderful art form is being diminished by such attitudes and attempts. It’s time writers are given the credit they deserve for the art they create!
- Writing Community (fallsintowriting.com)
- The writer’s identity (suddenlytheyalldied.com)
- She Writes! She Writes! (jessicavealitzek.com)