Let your characters choose between right and wrong. See how they react in a situation. Sometimes they surprise you and they respect themselves far more than you think. Same in life, you have to let people choose to make the wrong decision. If you take away the chance for someone to choose between right and wrong one, they will never know if they were capable of making the right decision, and neither will you. Your mind will always wonder how bad they would have fucked up if you didn’t step in. You gotta let them be themselves. It gives them room to grow and trust themselves. Making mistakes is the most important part of growth.
So let’s just say we step back as writers after we place our character(s) into some fishy ass situation. Now we think from their past experience, do they know how to step away from something that will destroy their life? Have they learned yet to say no to self destructive behaviors? Are they constantly sneaking around and making bad choices? Why would this time be different? If you step in without thinking and don’t allow your characters to be honest with themselves, the future is going to become murky. The rest of the book will be built on this need for control that you have as a writer and you are going to have to delete the rest of the book and return to this point where you stepped in for your character. Which in turn doesn’t allow your character to be themselves but forces them to be what you want them to be.
Letting go doesn’t mean that you don’t care about someone anymore. It’s just realizing that the only person you really have control over is yourself.”— Deborah Reber
We want to be surrounded by people and characters who choose who they want to be because that allows them to be honest with us. When we surround ourselves with honesty it’s much easier to be honest with ourselves and grow into the person we were truly meant to be.
This means that your characters are going to do things that make you really upset. This means that you are going to have to forgive your characters. This means you’re going to have to have a healthy attachment to your characters. If they don’t piss you off, are you connected to your writing? If they piss you off to the point that you can no longer write their story in an honest way, is there something you’re hanging on to that’s hindering your inability to finish? These are questions we need to ask ourselves as writers within and outside of our stories.
Let people show you who they are. Let them write their own story. Let them destroy themselves. Let them become the hero of their own story. They might surprise you. They might disappoint you and do exactly what you thought. But either way they are going to grow from the experience. You are going to grow from watching them. They’ll show you who you don’t want to be or they’ll show you they are someone who you can truly admire.
If you allow it too much to fall into your bucket of things worth fighting for you’re going to get off track from your true calling. It’s easy to end up fighting battles that aren’t yours to fight. For me, there are only three things I think are worth fighting for, relationships as in my family and friends, my dreams, and being honest about my truths. Anything outside of that, is a distraction or entertainment.
I want my family and friends to have a life where they grow up knowing their worth, their voice, and what they bring to the table. I want to bring those things into their lives. In the past I did drop the ball on those things but I have rebuilt myself so many times that the only thing I want to bring into their presence from here on out is encouragement, empowerment, support and what ever else goes with loving them unconditionally.
My dreams have been my only reason to get out of bed. I lean on them. My hope is that my dreams will outlive me. What else is better to have in our darkest times than hope in our dreams?
I was a quiet girl. Sometimes I was a coward to keep the peace. Sometimes I blew up because I kept my mouth shut too long. I’ve made a lot of mistakes by not being honest about my feelings and about who I am as a person. Sometimes I even say things I don’t mean when someone treats me as if I’m worthless. And for those inappropriate things I’ve said, I’m sorry. I reacted and I shouldn’t have. I understand some things I have said can’t be taken back, but I will show you with my actions that I didn’t mean them. Please know, everyday I push myself to be honest about how I really feel. Everyday I try to explain why I’m angry, sad, or quiet. I’m not out here trying to be malicious with my honesty. I’m not using my honesty to prove to you that I can say things that are going to upset you. I’m honest because I know it’s my best option.
Those are my priorities. Those are the things I want to focus on. What are your top three priorities in life. I’d love to hear them.
Being an honest writer is about leading to the truth or at times, allowing yourself to be lead to the truth. Being an honest writer isn’t telling all the dirt about your character right off the bat or at all for that matter. It’s a guidance. It’s knowing what truths to tell. It’s knowing what truths you keep to yourself to gift others that marvelous feeling of expansion. It’s our duty as writers to allow uncertainty in some moments. Let them have that space where maybe just maybe, it might work out in the best or worst way possible.
I think we can apply this to our own lives too. There are times when calling people out in an innocent moment can be an act of pride rather than an act of love. Sometimes we jump the gun and spill all the ugly stuff without even getting to the stuff that leads them to the truth on their own. We have to let them stagger around a bit to figure out how some things in this world operate. The same goes for writing.
When we look at honesty this way, it becomes more of a tool. We can wield it around at times of distress or times of victory. We can use it as a reward or even as a punishment. There’s so many ways to use honesty as a tool of guidance. It can bludgeon. It can destroy, so use it wisely and when you do decide to use it, use it with confidence.
When you focus too much on tomorrow it takes away from today. If you took your time and slowly carved away at your words, that is true craftsmanship. You can’t rush art. You know what you have in mind. Put it together. Try it out. If that doesn’t work, it’s ok try another way.
The first draft of anything is shit.”— Ernest Hemingway
Writing doesn’t come out perfect on the first draft, if it did everyone would be a writer. (Well, I think everyone is a writer but that’s for another day.) A huge part of being a writer is editing your work. That is the art of writing. So if you know what you want to change and edit, you are already on the right path.
I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them — without a thought about publication -and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside. — Anne Tyler
I love how you poured everything into these new ideas. It shows courage. It shows you’re in this for the long term. You’re no quitter when you let everything hang loose in your first draft. Now it’s time to let it all unfold in flames and into your story.
I think the trouble starts when you sit down to write and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent — and when you don’t, panic sets in. The solution is never to sit down and imagine that you will achieve something magical and magnificent. — Malcolm Gladwell
Don’t give up now. If you’re feeling like quitting, accept the thought but don’t dance with it. Think of negative small talk as background noise rather than allowing it to become a suggestion. You created something that came straight from inside your head and placed it on paper. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Just keep going. Keep taking it one day at a time. You can do this.
“Every first draft is perfect because all the first draft has to do is exist. It’s perfect in its existence. The only way it could be imperfect would be to NOT exist.” ― Jane Smiley
Well, that contradicts the first quote but I agree. The first draft it is not meant to live up to impossible expectations. It’s meant to come alive and that is just the beginning of it all.
Be brave enough to do in your writing what you do in your imagination. Technique and skill are important but it’s also important to take your readers on the truest adventures inside your head. Be honest about who you are. The conflicting, raw, misfit you. Your work should make you blush sometimes.
Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.― Shannon L. Alder
Don’t place you imagination in a box to prioritize others exceptions. Show your courage, let your imagination run wild on the page. It’s one thing to edit for understanding and focus but you can do it in a way that lets your quirks live in your work. Who are you as a writer? Can we see that in your writing?
For me, I just want to be myself without fear when I write. I want to show up with my run-on sentences and internal dialogue that could drive a sane man to drink while bringing the thinkers home.
As writers, we are already courageous by choosing this career. Might as well be brave within ourselves too.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof. — Khalil Gibran
We are left here alone to create, to edit, to choose the choices our characters decide to take. Someone has to trust in us. Someone has to believe we are going to get somewhere with this. So we, us writers, must do the believing. We must have faith in ourselves and our work even when no one else can see the value. Even when we have nothing to prove, we are at our best when we believe and have faith in ourselves.
Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.
There’s some people who get a release from writing or maybe even rainy days, but in this post we’re going to talk about the great release from writing. This doesn’t always happen. But when you get that feeling like, “oh ok, I feel better now.” it usually means you put a significant about of effort into what you’re wrote. Even if it was before you started typing.
Writing is like any other skill. It requires determination, sacrifices, and hard work. Don’t let those words intimidate you. These words have a big bite. The truth is, if you’re intentionally writing something, a thought, an idea, an outline, a response, everyday, that’s amazing. Take note of it, and slowly add more to your word count over time. It’s worth it. It’s worth that feeling of pushing through when you thought you couldn’t……….
I’m afraid of becoming an egotistical asshole if I sell too many books. Even though I very much want to sell my books. I also don’t want to feel like I have something to prove financially. I would be proud to be independent. To be a writer making enough to pay the bills. I just don’t want that to hinder my view of others. I don’t want to forget my struggle or my humanity. And lastly, I don’t want to lose appreciation for other writers. I want to be understanding and gentle and loving. I don’t want to snub someone because I’m a well paid writer and they aren’t.
There’s a thin line between discipline and chaos, between empathy and narcissism. The line is so thin in fact, that we can cross it without realizing it until we step away from a situation. Or until someone calls us out on our behavior. Yes, we all make mistakes. We all hurt the people we love most. And what’s important is to be accountable and honest when we mess up.
I don’t think this fear holds me back. And Freud would probably suggest the only thing holding me back is my childhood drowning. Either way, I’m getting closer and closer to selling my book and the shadow is growing. But I’m not going to let it stop me. I’m gong to sell my book whether I’m scared shitless or not.
What helps me when I afraid is to list the reasons why stepping through a particular fear is beneficial. So I thought I’d share some reasons why you should sell your book….