Don’t complicate a process that should be simple…that comes later.
More than once, I’ve had people ask me, “How did you get into writing?”, and I’ve had to seriously think about it a time or two. It’s not that I doubt my love for this craft and profession, it’s the idea of having to boil that passion down to a core idea that people might understand and fully comprehend. The people that ask this typically aren’t dumb or even willfully ignorant, they simply don’t have the experience or the know-how when it comes to crafting a story. There’s no ego, or at least there shouldn’t be much ego, when it comes to showing/teaching/explaining to people how and why writing is so easy, since the passion that some people feel for this profession can be highly infectious.
Strangely enough, writing isn’t that hard, but it is intimidating to some folks that don’t write more than a few sentences a week, if that. Some people are of the mind that writing is too difficult, that they can’t come up with ideas. If you can think, you can come up with an idea. If it sounds like a bad idea, then ditch it and try another one. The fun part of writing is (there are a lot of fun parts) that if you don’t like one idea, you can scrap it, tumble it, turn it around, and come up with something that might sound better.
You only need a few things to get started writing.
Seriously, writing is not that difficult. It’s getting started that’s tough. You want to hear what you need to get going?
- An idea: This can be the hardest part since even if you have a long list of ideas that you think have merit. You’re going to toss some out, change others, and polish the ones you like the most, and they still might not be good enough to get the attention of others. Hey, that’s the process, read the room and figure out what people want to see.
- Desire: If you don’t have this then your ideas are going to feel mechanical, lifeless, and bound to be fit for a cookie cutter story that caters more to the comfort zone of the people than to the advancement of the storytelling process. Desire is scoffed at by more than a few people who don’t understand the writing process, but honestly, if you don’t have it, then you’re in for a tough time when it comes to creating anything.
- A don’t quit attitude: You can step away from the story when you need to, and you can certainly take a break. That’s expected, since staying the course without a rest now and then is kind a recipe for disaster. Backing off and taking a look from a different angle is necessary at times. But quitting? That’s a no-no if you want to write, and be a serious writer. If you start a story, finish it, or go back to it, or redo it, but don’t quit.
Of course you need tools to work with, be it a PC or a pen and a pad of paper. But if you don’t have these initial tools then it’s likely that you won’t have a good time. After that, everything else takes practice, lots and lots of practice.
But we’ll get to that in a bit.