The myriad ways of writing

I’m currently taking an indie publishing course in order to improve my publishing game, and something that the instructor said reminded me of the importance of getting words on the page, no matter how it happens.

One thing that most professional writers learn as they get more experienced with the actual process is that there is no one right way to write. Every writer who produces reliably has their own method that works for them, usually discovered after a great deal of swearing and blood shed over a damn story. And what works for Writer A may not work for Writer B — in fact, it may actually hurt their writing process.

Of course, assorted instructors (not the one I referred to in the first paragraph, by the way — this guy knows his shit) like to make money off the idea that they have discovered the One True Way, and if you just pay $500 to take their course and learn the secret, you’re guaranteed to become a bestseller in weeks, click here NOW to learn–

Yeah, no. What matters is that you get words on the page. If you only write a hundred words a day, if you write three thousand, if you write at 4 AM, if you write at midnight, if you write when your kids are down for a nap, if you write during your lunch break, all that? It’s all good, all right.

Frex, I’m one of the “vomit words onto the page and clean it up in the edit” types. Which apparently horrifies people who compose in their head and put down really clean first drafts. Mind you, I’m at the stage in my career when I can do that, too, but when you consider that I’m currently stuck in my house with five cats who all meow very loudly to get my attention and a husband who (understandably) wants to talk to his wife when he comes down for lunch or a break (he’s currently in the kitchen making lunch and listening to a muted phone meeting. I ask you), I can’t always achieve the amount of concentration necessary to put down pristine first drafts. I’ve learned that it’s okay to just slap something vaguely approximating what I want to say on the page, and I can clean it up when I go back in to edit. That works for me.

But it may not work for you. And that, my friend, is totally cool. Do whatever it takes to get the words on the page. Once you get them there, you can edit them, clean everything up, and submit or publish them. But you can’t do bubkes with with a blank page.

Apropos of nothing, could someone please come over here and entertain my cats for a couple of hours?

About Nicola Cameron

Nicola Cameron has had some interesting adventures in her life -- ask her sometime about dressing up as Tietania, Queen of the Bondage Fairies. When not writing, she wrangles cats, makes dolls of dubious and questionable identity, and thanks almighty Cthulhu that she doesn’t have to work for a major telecommunications company any more (because there’s BDSM, and then there’s just plain torture...).

Posted on July 23, 2020, in Writing. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The myriad ways of writing.

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