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Author Topic: Just Write... I don't care what it is... Just Write It...  (Read 298 times)

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Offline Fronomenal

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Just Write... I don't care what it is... Just Write It...
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:46:35 PM »
I was snooping around Reddit and saw a link to an article about a writer explaining his writing process. He mentions that he doesn't always write fiction, but he tries to write something everyday. It inspired me to start this topic. Here's the link: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/26/my-writing-day-bernard-maclaverty

I learned something this past year that I already knew, but made much more sense to me when I actually applied it. And it was that no matter what it is, I just should write something. Seriously. Anything. I could care less what it is. Just write it down. I'll flesh it out later with edits.

Some context on my writing history that elaborates why this philosophy means so much to me...

I use to suffer from serious writer's block. Not because I never had the inspiration to write from. I always have fresh ideas to write down. The writer's block I suffered through was being in love with the idea of writing and finishing a story, but hated the process of pushing through the mental hurdles to reach the finish line.

I was dreaming of being a good writer with amazing stories, but I wasn't actually writing. And I hated myself for that.

I hated myself for a lot of things regarding my own writing. Every time I tried to sit down and push a story chapter or scene out of my head and onto paper or a computer screen, I stop midway. "Man something is missing." I used to tell myself. My inner editor was something OP. It really had me feeling that whatever I was writing was just complete garbage and that I shouldn't even finish it. And I didn't. I never finished my projects. "Damn Mike, you call yourself a writer and you can't even finish a scene, or a chapter for that matter?" The guilt and shame I placed on myself killed me inside.

I remember one time in college I had to rewrite a short story that literally had my grade on the line. Since I slacked off so much early in the semester, my professor told me that if I didn't wow her with my rewrite, I was  more than likely going to fail her class. Determined to prove to myself and to her that my writing skills were good enough to pull off miracles, I sat down in front of the family desktop and cracked my knuckles, psyching to myself to write the greatest short story of all time.

I gave up after the first paragraph. My heart sank and my eyes were heavy with shame. I cried. Not because of the fact that I was really going to fail a class for the first time of my life. But because for the first time of my life I truly felt that I was a joke of a writer, and that the only talent I had wasn't worth the time to invest in.

But I still kept writing. Even though I felt my writing was still trash sometimes I still wrote on. My passion for writing wouldn't let me stop. However, instead of focusing on fiction I transitioned into writing journals and funny enough, I found myself feeling more comfortable with my writing, which was something I usually never felt. It was just me talking on the page and for some reason it came much easier to me than writing prose.

Fast forward and I started expressing my writing on a more public space via Facebook. I made up random characters in my head and wrote them down having funny conversations while involved in wacky situations. It was completely dialogue, with little to no exposition given. I gotten some likes, people told me they enjoyed what I wrote. I had fun knowing I can get people to laugh with my writing, so I kept doing it. And eventually, interestingly enough, I adopted the random scenarios I wrote into a idea for a screenplay.

And then something I clicked. I realized that me writing these facebook post every other day had me writing more. Even though it wasn't story ideas I should be focusing on, the act of just writing became a habit. And that was the important part. I started writing more out of habit and as a result I was getting more writing done on my fiction stories as well. Every word I wrote down, regardless of intention, had value to them. And once I started placing value on my writing, finishing stories and fleshing out ideas became easier over time. Simply by removing the stress I placed on myself, I was able to enjoy the act of writing, and that was enough to keep me going.

So when I realized this, I told myself: As long as I just write something down, the stories will eventually finish themselves. Even if I don't finish a piece in one sitting, at least I worked on it. I don't have to follow some strict writing regimen to get work done. It's okay to write a couple a words down a day. Those couple words will turn into a couple hundred, and those couple hundred will turn into a couple thousand.

I'm not perfect of course. I still to this day don't have a complete project under my belt. I have at least 40 google docs worth of journals and unfinished stories. But I'm proud to say compared to my earlier self, I am much more happy with myself as a writer this past year than I have ever been in my entire life. And that in itself is a huge step for me.

This isn't some success story or an attempt to give inspirational advice based on personal experience to inspiring writers on this forum. To be honest, I'm not the guy to provide such enlightenment. This is more of a plea aimed at anyone who is feeling the same way I did when I was a younger writer. And with this being a plea- writers of all skill levels, I beg of you:

Just Write... I don't care what it is... Just write it.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 10:51:13 PM by Fronomenal »

Offline legomaestro

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Re: Just Write... I don't care what it is... Just Write It...
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 09:11:56 PM »
Potent stuff Frono, and right stuff too. Unless you're really skilled at playing chess in your head, it's dangerous to think that you're a writer just because of the fancy ideas and expectations you have in your head. A lot of people just have to learn the hard but practical way: Through experience, by eating a lot of dirt and by screweing around a hell of a lot more.

If there's anything that someone needs to learn that is harder than just writing what comes to mind it's having patience. Any level of success doesn't come over time, but if you're patient enough and work at something then it might end up being really beneficial for you.

Offline Fronomenal

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Re: Just Write... I don't care what it is... Just Write It...
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 07:57:33 PM »
Thanks a lot Lego. This was a very personal journey for me to share, especially considering I'm usually not much of an open book when it comes to expressing my deeper personal feelings. However, knowing that there's a possibility that someone is out there is going through the same thing I was going through, I felt that the least I can do is provide some words of encouragement for that person.

Like you said, patience is key. It takes a serious amount of mental fortitude to cultivate a talent into a skill, and then further improve upon that skill. It's one thing to be in love with the idea of being something great. But to reach that level of greatness requires another level of commitment that many aspiring writers (including myself) seem to forget.

Online MahluaandMilk

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Re: Just Write... I don't care what it is... Just Write It...
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 10:21:36 PM »
I feel you man. Writer's block is hard, especially when you're someone who has high expectations for yourself. Mad respect for you finding your way out of it.

To me, it's like, there's a golden treasure on the top of a huge mountain somewhere, and I know where the goalpost is, but the struggle is getting from elevation zero to where I want to go, and what path I want to traverse. I also have a lot of ideas that I gave up on, like my main story idea, Anim. I have some other ideas of things I'd like to do, and some fanfictions I'd like to complete. But...the one thing that really gets me going is MRverse. It lowers those inhibitions for me like those Facebook posts seemed to do for you.

As someone studying to be an English teacher, I can tell you that majority of the materials I've read in my coursework suggest the very same thing you're talking about right here. Writing more is the key to learning to write better, because it makes it a habit instead of something you feel forced to do.

Offline Fronomenal

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Re: Just Write... I don't care what it is... Just Write It...
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2017, 07:26:35 AM »
That analogy you used is pretty much spot on what I was feeling. And the MR Canon (Or MRverse, as you like to say) was also a good source of inspiration for me as well.

We also can't underestimate the power of just reading too. You're as good as writer as you are a reader. And I used to hate reading as a youngster. Which is why a lot of my early work suffered tremendously, even though I was considered by my teachers and my peers that I was naturally a good writer. Now that I read a lot my writing has improved leaps and bounds since.