Monday, May 9, 2016
Autism Answer: Keep Writing!
Writing Advice For New Writers From A Writer Who Freaking Loves Writing
Keep writing! <---- Most important!
While you write get clear about the reasons you're writing. To share your story, to hone a craft, to meet like-minded groups of people, to make money, to change the world, to figure yourself out. There are never-ending reasons for writing and they are all valuable. Own those reasons and discover new ones!
And then, keep writing. Pay attention to feedback but don't let it be louder than your own thoughts and reasons. Writing is vulnerable work, allow yourself to be vulnerable but don't allow yourself to be beat up. Notice consistent feedback more than noisy or obnoxious feedback, and then decide whether or not it's important to you. Revisit your reason for writing, check in.
Sometimes you'll feel stuck. Your writing will feel redundant and your stories uninteresting. You can quit, if you want. But if you keep writing you'll find a newness surface, almost certainly! I used to roll my eyes when my mom was teaching my brothers. I'd see her show them the same things over and over and over again and watch her get excited by the tiniest shift in ability. Thankfully my mom didn't allow my eye-rolling or my brothers' slowness deter her. She loved them too much for that. One day, those skills came. Sometimes it was all at once, like a tipping point. Other times it was over such a long period of time that I would suddenly realize, "Wait! He does that now. When did I start to take that for granted?" My writing is not an autistic brother, but autism taught me this truth of belief and persistence which, it turns out, works in my writing! It will be the same for you. If you don't quit. If instead you keep writing.
And then, keep writing! Sometimes you'll feel certain that you suck and other times you'll feel certain that you're the greatest thing ever. That's what it is to be an artist; that's what it is to be human. Artists ache to understand and translate what it is to be human, you will ache. You will learn every shade of ache. I encourage you to have a few writer friends who "get it." When you have too much to say and when you have nothing to say, when you're drowning in self-doubt or lost in self-importance, it helps to know folks who get it.
Writing is work. Sometimes, though, you won't be writing. When you aren't writing don't call it "writer's block." Instead you can call it gathering! Or find a word that feels less like a block and more like a renewing. Fresh ideas and plot twists introduce themselves to you when you take time away from the ones already in your head. Writing happens when you write, but unique experiences happen when you're living. Experiences are the foundation of writing. Words are used to show, share, and explore experiences. Embrace them!
And then, when the inspiration strikes or you've been away from it long enough, start writing! Sometimes you'll be inspired so strongly that you won't be able to do anything but keep writing. Other times, you'll have to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and just push. Just write. Don't worry, just write. The ideas start to happen as we get them rolling. When they don't, keep writing! They will!
Keep writing, every day or every week or every month. Remember your reason. Some reasons (like making money) mean that you'll have to be more aware of how often you write and about what you write and where to submit your writing. But other reasons allow for more freedom in these areas. Neither one is inherently better or worse for writing, as long as you keep writing!
Writing is personal work and you'll discover secrets of yourself while you're at it. Including secret writing advice that will work specifically for you, and perhaps for writers like you. Keep writing, discover those secrets!
But one piece of writing advice works for all of us who want to be writing. One piece of writing advice is free and available to you now.
Keep Writing! <----- Again, the most important part!
Happy writing, friends!!
Hugs, smiles, and love!!