Because you found my blog, I know you like to read (or you’re related to me). I’m guessing you might also harbor a longing to write, whether deep down in your secret longing place or out there in the open for all to see. I had such a longing, for a very long time, and while I dabbled here and there, starting a story or even just a character’s inner monologue, I never did anything with it.
That is, until last year. I started writing a novel in April, and wrote The End in December. There is a lot of work ahead to get it ready for the next step towards publishing, but I gotta say, I feel pretty damn proud of myself for getting this far.
If you harbor a longing to write, and you’re reading this blog, maybe the things that helped me get to The End will help you. Interspersed in my book reviews and book club notes, I’ll share some tools that I latched onto as I stepped off the cliff into Serious Writer Land.
Some of them motivated me to keep going when I was drowning in self-doubt or ennui; others helped to load the writer toolbox that Stephen King described so lovingly and terrifyingly in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (that’s the second time I’ve mentioned him in the few posts I’ve shared so far…does that make him my Paul Sheldon, or me his Annie Wilkes?).
You might find some of these tools completely useless. I found a list of recommended reading for writers online somewhere—if I can find it I will update this post—and while it did include the aforementioned Stephen King
tomb tome, which I found immeasurably helpful, it also included Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life, which I DNF (did not finish) because it Depressed. The. Hell. Out. Of. Me. Maybe I just didn’t get to the inspirational part. Anyway, we can agree to disagree on this or that or the other.
I’m working on my first writing tools post now, a review of the Writing Excuses podcast, which I hope to post over the next day or two. In the meantime, from one recent leaper off the cliff to another: good luck, and happy flying.
3 thoughts on “Taking the Leap into the Writing Life”
I was pleased to see the you did not find Bird by Bird helpful. I thought I was alone. I never understood the fuss made about it. I found Stephen King’s book good, although one of my favorites that I find more useful is A Writer’s Coach by Jack Hart- a very practical, get-it-done book. I’ve even got two copies.
Thanks, John–I’ll have to check out Hart’s book.