Rule Breaking

I love quotes.

I have several journals full of quotes that I happen to stumble upon throughout the day. They can serve to motivate me, pick me up, or inspire. Of course I share them I find others that needed to hear or read that particular set of words as well.

However as much as I love quotes, there are a few that can be harmful, especially to beginning writers. Here are a few quotes (some generalized because multiple authors have said them) to disregard as you become the author you need to be.

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Write everyday.

It would be grand if this were the case. Throwing everything away and simply focusing on words. But that’s not the reality for most of us. Surely write when you can because “a writer writes” but do so when you can. Some people are weekend writers, while others can only seem to do so every other day at their kids’ soccer practice. Do what works for you.

Write what you know.

I’m not a 12 year old girl trapped in a coma where her thoughts and emotions are personified. That didn’t stop me from writing that particular story. I’ve seen writers lock themselves in research purgatory, having that idea for a story that never leaves the ground because the writer hasn’t mastered quantum mechanics based on Mars. Bring life experience into your story, absolutely. Doing so brings you and the reader closer together. Know a bit of what you’re talking about if bringing real world elements to your fiction. However don’t allow what you don’t know to stagnate you.

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” –Saul Bellow

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! *wipes tears*

Write like no one is going to read it.

There’s a big difference between writing for yourself versus for an audience. If you write for yourself aka journaling it’s all about you. The only audience is you. However if you’re goal is to be published there has to be some sliver of care put into the effort you put out. You have to put the needs of the reader into consideration.

“Don’t try.” –Charles Bukowski

Try. Fail. Repeat ad nauseam. The act of writing is continual learning and taking hits only to rise up a stronger and more profound writer in the process. Keep writing. Keep querying. Keep going. As Ray Bradbury said “You only fail if you stop writing.”

Surely I could keep going but here seems like a nice place to stop. Keep following your heart and let the words flow. And until next time have a writeous day!

_______________________

Matt Williams is an avid reader, a collector of many pens, an ever improving father of two, and an all-around fanboy. When he’s not wrestling with cats or a long commute you can find him hunkered down writing something imaginative. He’s working on publishing his first book Beyond Here, a middle grade story involving a coma and a singing flower with a bent stem sometime in 2016, along with a few projects with his other daughter.

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