Monthly Archives: May 2014

Writing advice from a well meaning newb

Hiya Creepers ūüôā

Every time I sit down to type up a post, I find myself considering my irrelevance to the literary world. This still hasn’t stopped me from shouting into the ether, hoping anyone with a spare fuck to give will stop by and give me a cyber hug. Or a cyber cookie. But only the good kind of course.

So if you’re scrolling through this site and find yourself questioning¬†why I’m blogging at all (Are you there Bloggers? It’s me, Stephy), just know it’s because I enjoy it . . . kinda. Okay, I really don’t, not because I don’t care or that I think it’s a waste of my time, but because I don’t feel qualified to preach/share/rant. I’m really here because if I’m ever to have a chance at “making it,”I have to spread the word near and far. Selfishly, vainly, and ideally, I’m also hoping to one day write something so profound that hundreds of lives are irreversibly, and wonderfully, changed.

As you can see, I like making believe.

*Enter transitory sentence here.

So here’s the list of issues I’ve experienced as a writer:

1. Time is not kind.

As a writer, you’re ¬†normally in one of ¬†four states: writing, editing, querying, or not doing a damn thing. I’m guilty of the latter, the former, and all the in betweens. Like now. I’ve made a goal of 20 pages a week, due by Sunday at midnight, so that my novel will be done by September 1st. Am I hammering out a story? No. I’ve written a total sum of four pages in five days.¬†Which means I won’t be sleeping tonight, and probably tomorrow night.

My solution? Holding myself accountable. That’s my best advice. It’s hard making time to write: often the best inspiration comes when you least expect or want it (many a great ideas have come to me whilst I bathed or pooped or during any other gross human function that all of humanity knows about but doesn’t like to talk about because, c’mon, that’s just unseemly talking about poop, and what are we three, Savell?)

So yeah, I’m stuck with a ton of work, but at least I’m making an effort to be responsible.

Write responsibly my friends.

2.¬†We’re really all the same.

I’m so paranoid that the second novel will simply be a repeat of the first.¬†Which is understandable, I think, but hopefully won’t happen. I’ve been extra careful to flesh out my new characters, to keep their personalities, thoughts, and situations different enough so that I’m not rewriting the same book. Hell, as we speak, I’m experiencing a creepy feeling about this¬†post. It feels eerily similar to another such post about writing . . . Oh well.

3. Just be yourself. Unless you’re a weirdo. Then fuckoffthen.

We live in a¬†society that tells you to be yourself. Then when you are, if you aren’t good enough or if you’re too creepycreepy, they change their mind fast.¬†

They tell you it doesn’t matter what others think . . . and then they tell you it does.

I’m getting to a point. My point is that you have to write from the heart.

That’s a cliche. Which everyone tells you you should NEVER EVER EVER write into a novel. Ever.

To which I shout BULSHIIIT.

You have to write what feels real. What makes ¬†you happy. What makes you feel anything at all. If some of your writing veers into the land of cliches and bad movie tropes, so be it–as long as it feels real, authentic, important. Expecting every sentence you put to paper to be mind shatteringly awesome and original is ridiculous. We’re all human. We share the basic human experience, and with that shared experience comes commonalities. Jungian archetypes are proof that all civilizations share the same feelings, needs, desires; they have the same heroes, ideas, concepts; we all tell stories that at the innermost core can be divvied up into common categories and constructs: honestly, there really is nothing new under the sun. I believe if you write with feeling, with meaning, honesty and truth,¬†all else can be forgiven: even some pretty bad writing.

4. Too great expectations

If you write with the sole intention of money or fame, more power to you because I doubt you really care what anyone thinks about you or your work (unless it negatively affects your income of course). Not condemning someone who uses their considerable talent selfishly . . .

Huh. So I guess I am. This post isn’t for you then.

To those who think that their first book will solve all their problems, I say no.

To those that believe, improbably but ¬†not impossibly, that it’ll be an instant bestseller, I say no.

To those that think that if they could just publish one book, just one, that they’d be happy forever, I say no.

I could be wrong. I’m good at wrongness.

*Warning: No case is typical. Don’t troll me*

Personally, publishing a novel didn’t solve all my problems. I didn’t get rich, famous, or even really noticed. My friends and family were happy, a few strangers were kind, and the rest were apathetic (or assholes). It’s just how it works. Should you count out that maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who catch the tail of a star and ride it to fame? No. But I think it’s a huge mistake to expect all these things. It sets you up for disappointment. And disappointed is one thing you should never associate with publishing your work.

So, thanks for stopping by. ūüôā Next time I’ll be much funnier. And oh, I’ll have GIFS, lots and lots of GIFS. With pandas and twisty straws and sprinkled cupcakes.

All my best,