Aspiring Writer/Interviewer-"What advice do you have for young writers?"
Published Author-"Just write."
That's how it goes, every single time. Every single time the words, "Just write" were uttered, I wanted to gnash my teeth like a troll and secretly wonder how they could enchant readers with bouquets of beautiful prose and florid descriptions while, when asked about their craft, they could only offer two words.
Here's the thing; they are ABSOLUTELY right.
But there are better ways of giving that rock-solid piece of advice. a gem doesn't have to be found in rubble. (sorry for the horrid pun).
My two motivators?
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and a particular blog post by Merlin Mann.
First off is the brilliant Merlin Mann. He wrote a blog post, Nanowrimo: a pep talk and a warning, and it will be the hands down, best pep talk to get through Nanowrimo and that first draft. I can't pinpoint a quote from it; it's so chock-full of awesome and no-nonsense advice that i can only honor it by pasting the link from his blog, 43 Folders: http://www.43folders.com/2009/11/02/nanowrimo-advice
Next is War of Art. A clever wordplay on Sun Zi's The Art of War, Steven Pressfield reveals the furry devil; Resistance, mother of procrastination, writer's block, and the subsequent brain cells killed by thunking your head into the keyboard all the time. Why does it have to be so hard? You think. Why does the thing I love have to be the hardest thing I do?
Pressfield offers a brilliant piece of advice; Resistance is a compass. The more you love it, the harder it is to do. Especially if it's a creative endeavor.
"Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a
scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be
answered by action.
Do it or don’t do it.
It may help to think of it
this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack
cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even
destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the
You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the
Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the
sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its
path back to God."
That quote alone was enough to make me sit. And write.
What are your secret creative weapons?