Fact, Fiction, Fun

The Best Advice I Ever Heard About Writing

    Ever since I wrote The Undesirable, people have asked me how I did it–how I finished it. A lot of people have asked, and I always struggle with the answer.writing

    The fact is, I just did it. I had an idea in my head, I mulled over it for awhile, and then one day I sat down and started to write. One page became two,  then four, then ten.

    And at some point, the idea took hold and I just couldn’t stop typing.  Then I outlined the story–and that’s when I could almost see the story take shape. I felt compelled to keep writing as if something inside me was finally breaking loose. It sounds lofty, I know, but it’s pretty much exactly what happened. Once I started on a roll, I could not stop. What’s more–I didn’t want to, not even for one minute.

    In the early fall of 2012, while in the middle of edits for the book, I attended a writing conference at Rose State College in Oklahoma City–a “writing short course” if you will. As he closed the course, Bill Bernhardt told everyone there that making writing a habit is one of the most important things to do during the creative process. He said the funny thing was (and I am paraphrasing here), working on something a little every day would make parts of the story  come alive in other ways—like on a morning drive, or while washing dishes, or while doing the laundry. Pretty soon, he said, you’d start getting ideas and vision for the story from everywhere.

    His advice is spot on.

    So, in the end, that’s my advice, too. If you want to write a novel–just do it. Make a commitment, sit down, fire up the computer, and start. Write and write and write every day until 1000 words becomes 10,000 and then 40,000 and beyond. Resolve to do it–and then… just do it!


2 thoughts on “The Best Advice I Ever Heard About Writing

  1. It’s so true! When I have a story at the front of my mind, my brain makes connections and comes up with ideas for it when I’m driving, walking the dog, doing the dishes… pretty much any time it’s not working on something else. I’ve only had one dream that actually helped out with it, but that was interesting, too. But if I’m not actively working, those things don’t happen, and nothing gets bigger or better. Great advice. 🙂

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