TMM: Write, write, write

write

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”
Isaac Asimov

In my humble opinion, there are two main rules to becoming a writer: read a lot and write a lot. You can’t do one without the other, no matter how much you try. Fiction writing is different than any other kind of writing, and there’s a point in knowing the conventions of the genre before you can break them.

But today’s post is about writing. A lot.

Some writers are afraid that what they write will be the worst thing ever written. They want to write great stuff… they even want to write brilliant first drafts, because that’s what they think great writers do. And they spend a lot of time not writing. They always wait for the perfect conditions, for the right time and place, for some mystical alignment of the stars.

But the truth is that you just have to write. If it’s good, it’s good, if it’s not, you can always edit. Or just throw the damn thing away. A lot of my stories never got a chance to be read by others. I just felt that they were rubbish. When I wrote them, I wrote them with the conviction that I was writing something great. The end product though… wasn’t so great.

I used to be afraid to write, as if my talent was limited to a certain amount of words. I’d very carefully choose my stories. I spent a lot of time searching for that brilliant idea. I wrote only when I felt inspired. All that meant that I wasn’t really writing. A couple of short stories per year, a few chapters… less than ten thousand words.

Now, I can write that in a week. Maybe less. Because I no longer care. I want to just write, to tap, tap away all these ideas and dreams, and I don’t care about what others might think. I don’t want to write the greatest story every written, I just want to write my stories, the way I want to, and I just want to enjoy it. I want to write because that’s what I want to do, because it doesn’t matter if my stories are rubbish or not as long as writing is the one thing I enjoy doing most in the world. That one thing that makes me happy.

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15 thoughts on “TMM: Write, write, write

  1. I have to agree with Mr. Asimov on this one . His comment concerning six minutes gets more and more relevant for me with every passing day. I’m already in my 60s, and while still insanely healthy, well, you just never know.
    I find myself having to do it because that next chapter that’s bouncing around in my brain! Well, I might not be here to write if I wait. Even if it’s garbage that comes up on the screen, I can always polish, and re-polish it until it starts looking good. The important thing is to get it down first.

  2. I think that you would mind if your stories were rubbish – there is a certain level of standard to your work. You write because you feel or you think that you have something to say – whether you say it or not is another story. You are the writer – only you know what you are chasing. I once wrote 20,000 words and realized I said absolutely nothing. It sounded like I was saying something but I was saying absolutely nothing. I didn’t know that was even possible until I reflected on what I wrote. I cut it up and started again. Writing isn’t just about writing otherwise you wouldn’t be posting your work. You are sharing it with others. How well you write cultivates that sharing.

  3. Isaac Asimov is my role model in life, though I don’t have his genius and power of inspiration. I write….when I have something inside me that needs to be expressed. It makes me happy! If others can found themselves reflected in my stories, I am all the more joyful!

  4. Nice post. 🙂 I do that a lot. When I don’t have time I try to write at least a sentence or two. If I don’t use it in my novels, I can always make a creative writing prompt and publish it.

  5. Asimov was one of my childhood favorites. Incredibly prolific. He has written dozens of novels, hundreds of science books, and countless short stories as well as editing hundreds of other works. His book on the neutrino was my introduction to astrophysics in junior high. Astonishing talent for making complex things simple.

    People don’t understand the value of repetitive practice. An athlete will spend hours a day practicing the mundane. Catching the fly ball, the grounder, the throw to first base, swinging in the batting cage, sprinting and sliding into a base. It is something anyone can do but by making the ordinary purely reflexive, the extraordinary becomes achievable.

    This happens when you enjoy the act of writing *for itself* and not just because you want to score more readers. It reminds of of a story about Voltaire.

    Voltaire was working in his garden when some of his students paid him a visit. On of them asked the wise old man, “What would you do if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?”

    His reply, “I think I’d work some more in my garden.”

      1. I believe here is such a thing as inborn talent. No matter how hard they worked, most people would never make the NBA. They could still be far better than they are. Since most people never try hard at anything, those who work hard can become better than most people.

  6. Great job, Cristian. This reminded me of the book, ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King. Perfectionism always gets in the way of great writers. I’m glad you’re writing more often now. 😊

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