- Why people don’t bring me cake after I finish writing a chapter.
- Why most of my chapters are short.
- Why I’m so short and bookshelves so tall.
- Why I can’t reach the top shelf even if I stand on my toes.
- Why my toes are always cold.
- Why my fingers are cold too.
- Why my fingers are big.
- Why my fingers like to hit the wrong keys.
- Why my phone’s autocorrect doesn’t understand I hit the wrong key, resulting in many typos.
- Why my friends feel the need to laugh at my typos.
- Why I even have friends when I don’t ever leave the house.
- Why fictional characters can’t be real friends.
- Why my characters are selfish and whether that’s a reflection of myself.
- Why I don’t get an idea every time I look at my reflection in the mirror.
- Why I can’t describe facial expressions well even while staring at a mirror.
- Why describing facial expressions is difficult.
- Why writing is difficult.
- Why I almost always tackle the most difficult idea rather than an easier one.
- Why I can’t remember the ideas I don’t write down.
- Why ideas pop into my head at the most inconvenient moments.
- Why I don’t write more often.
- Why I don’t always like what I write.
- Why I occasionally like what I write and get too attached.
- Why I always have to kill what I’m attached to.
- Why killing my darlings isn’t as easy as it sounds.
- Why dialogue sounds better in my head than it does on the page.
- Why notebooks don’t have an infinite number of pages in them.
- Why I fill up the pages without being aware of it.
- Why I’m not aware of my surroundings at any given time.
- Why I’m too aware and start staring at someone with the intention of writing him or her into my story.
- Have you ever killed off a character only to regret it and bring them back to life?
- Have you ever cleared your search history after a research session?
- Have you ever used a napkin like a notepad?
- Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to write an idea down?
- Have you ever been caught staring at a stranger in public?
- Have you ever lost sleep worrying over your own characters?
- Have you ever stolen a pen from someone?
- Have you ever started a novel and actually finished writing it?
I apologize to all the stories I’ve abandoned. Here’s why.
A new, shiny idea comes along. Then I proceed to follow the glittery trail of a new idea. It’s hard coming back to old stories, especially when I fall in love with another one. Or even when I fall out of love with old projects.
I don’t know what happens next. Thanks to my non-existent outlines. Worse, my characters are lost too. Maybe I’d also benefit from doing character sketches.
I just need a break. Stories can get too real, too fast. Some distance is called for. Certain stories exhaust me.
I get bored. I love the honeymoon phase when I start a novel and everything’s novel. Pun very much intended. But once the novelty wears off, I jump ship.
I’m overwhelmed. Fortunately or perhaps unfortunately, I endeavour to write great, epic works.
I prioritize something else. I love writing. But at times, other things take precedence. And even though it’s important to me, my well-being is too.
I move on. There’s nothing wrong with that. I learn all I can from one specific story and go forth into the world to do bigger, better things. Let go. Move on. I rather not stay in one spot forever.
- Writing is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t human.
- Words don’t write themselves. Unfortunately.
- They’re bad at it. Or they’re too good.
- There’s more to writing than just writing. Writers don’t just write. They read. They research. They revise. You have to do more than just write if you want to write well.
- Writing isn’t black and white. The creative process differs for everyone. What works for me might not work for you. Which is why you should never take someone else’s writing advice as gospel, even and especially my own.
- It’s not for everyone. We aren’t all born to be writers. Imagine living in a world where everyone loved writing. That’s a terrifying but thrilling idea.
I love giving bad writing advice.
- When you want to quit, remember why you started.
- You don’t have to get your story right the first time. Or the fifteenth.
- Your piece should be as long as it needs to be. No more. No less.
- Read what you want, when you want, where you want. Just read something.
- Write often. Even when you don’t feel like it.
- Turn off your inner critic while writing. Turn on the critic while editing.
- Let that idea in your head make it into the paper. A bad page is better than a blank one.
- Have fun with the first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. First drafts are supposed to suck. Editing exists for a reason.
- Get better and better with every failure. Not trying is worse than failing.
- Adjust. Change what doesn’t work. Improve what does.
- Stop worrying. You’re wasting time you’ll never get back.
- Make the most of what you have. Even and especially when you don’t have much.
- Keep learning. Don’t ever stop learning.
- Live your life. Then relive your life through writing.
- Never settle for anything less than your best. Why do anything if you aren’t going to give it your all?
I also love soliciting good writing advice.
I edit while I write. I can’t help it. Especially when I’m writing an essay and don’t know what to say next. I’ll just start editing what I’ve already written in hopes that inspiration will strike. That an idea will fall from the sky and land in my lap. That some magical solution will solve all my problems.
It doesn’t always. So when I’m stuck, I take a break from writing. And do something else instead. Like reading. Or dancing. Even just eating.
Funny how those moments when I’m not thinking about writing tend to lead to some of my best ideas.
I forgot an idea I had. I want to say it was a good one. Too bad I’ll never know now.
I guess I have a habit of remembering bad ideas and forgetting good ones. Although, by that logic, maybe those good ideas aren’t so good after all.
I know, I know. I should have written down my brilliant idea. But by the time I got around to doing so, I forget all about it. And now I’m annoyed I can’t remember what I wanted to write about.
A part of me wishes someone could follow me around, recording all my ideas down.
On second thought, forget I ever said that. I do not want anyone following me around. I don’t care how much I love you. Ideally I’d spend about 22 hours in a day alone. 2 hours of interaction with other human beings is enough, don’t you think?
I really hate forgetting ideas. Why can’t my brain just remember them…
- Freak out.
- Freak out some more.
- Start to brainstorm.
- Generate many ideas.
- Hate most ideas.
- Pick the best worst idea.
- Shrug once.
- Scrap said idea for a better one.
- Try to outline.
- Fail to outline.
- Attempt to write a first draft.
- Edit first draft before it’s written.
- Write enough words to meet the word count.
- Delete unnecessary words.
- Squint at word count.
- Write more words.
- Realize there are too many words.
- Kill my darlings.
- Submit the poorly written essay.
- Celebrate by crying.