Everywhere we turn, there’s a potential lesson to be learned. Life is filled with challenges and triumphs- each waiting with a new perspective to be gained. There are good lessons. There are bad lessons. But as long as we keep changing, evolving, and (most importantly) learning- we are winning. Life isn’t about hitting every shot you take, it’s about taking the swing.
Writing is a lot like life. We learn new things everyday from our own writing. Some things are good, some are bad. Some things are technical realizations, while others are self-reflection. Whatever the case may be, as long as we keep writing, keep swinging- we are winning.
I read an article today by Lauren Jessen on The Huffington Post blog that highlighted the four lessons she learned while writing. I know we can all relate to and find inspiration in the lessons she learned. One of life’s greatest gifts is learning from each other. If you play the game alone, you won’t ever succeed.
1.There’s no wrong way to write your book.
What perspective do you want to write from? What point of view is best for your story? Which tense should you tell your story from? These are all very important questions, to which only you have the answers to. You know your story better than any one else. There’s no magic formula that’s going to tell you how to write your book. You are the only one that knows what is best for your story. It it feels rights, it’s probably because it is.
2. Know when to stop.
This is important, especially because I stress the importance of editing in pretty much every other post on this blog. Eventually you need to be happy with your end product, flaws and all. There’s no such thing as absolutely perfect writing. There’s always going to be that one comma you missed or that one word you jumbled. You need to accept your finished product and be happy with it.
3. Stop doubting yourself.
When you are feeling down or defeated, don’t dwell on it. Instead think about why it is you are feeling that way and take steps to fix it. If you fix the problem and learn from it, was it ever really a problem?
4. Write in pieces.
Don’t get overwhelmed with thinking that you are going to need to devote large chunks of your day to writing. Write everyday, but write when you can. If you can only get a quick fifteen minute session in, that’s perfectly fine. You will be a few sentences closer to finishing than you were yesterday. You can even jump around within your writing. Maybe you had a spark of inspiration for a particular scene- write it. You don’t need to write your story in order, that’s what ‘copy & paste’ is for. Write your ideas before they disappear.
Keep on swinging. Write on.