Why I Won’t Read a Book on Writing
or really listen to people give their advice on writing unless it’s like a script writer talking about what to include in scripts because I always forget
I know, I know “who am I to not listen to Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, or you (the person who probably wrote tons of articles on writing).” You know what, I’m Jay. And I have my reasons.
Just hear me out. ’Cause it’s not like I think I’m the greatest writer, or they know nothing. I just think…
1. They’re all pretty much gonna say the same thing
Their process is typically the same. Either they wake up early and knock out 30 pages or they go for a walk to clear their head, then get to writing. Sometimes it takes rewrites of the same paragraph, maybe they chill and let it hit them…but regardless, it comes down to the same thing which is…
2. They just write
No matter what you read… it won’t make you start writing. You have to put the pen to paper. You have to actually try. No one can tell you what’ll inspire you, or when you’ll write something good. The author already wrote. You have to write now.
They don’t know you or what works for you, but they do know that only when you write…you create. You can’t get around that.
3. I think reading random books in your genre is more helpful than reading a book on writing
All they can do is tell you what they did to get their work done, and that they…wrote.
Reading a book in your genre for your targeted audience will tell you what you like, what you don’t like, what works for others (see how well it performed), and what inspires you. I’ve picked up books in different genres and I’ve been like hmm I’d like to switch up this storyline. Maybe I’ll do what they did and include some photos or not have any quotation marks when my characters speak.
Helpful tip: copy someone else, but change it of course. Every story is a copy, just take something and make it your own (not in a plagiarizing way pleaseeee) (I do not sign off on that idea). Read a poem, take something away from it and create something new. I did this when I read “Hills Like White Elephants” for an assignment (I don’t know why I was in a writing class, I should make a post about why I left. But, this was a great assignment).
4. There are no set rules for writing and I stand on that
I think you can play around with formatting and how you want your pages to look. A mystery book not told in order (Cain’s Jawbone), a book with black paper (some poetry book I saw), or no quotation marks (Speak No Evil).
They tell you to not do this or that, but you surely can if you want! There’s an audience for everything and one shouldn’t limit themselves just because someone else advises they should. Show, tell, use metaphors and descriptions. Do what you gotta do for you, and know others will like it. I’ve read plenty things I didn’t think I’d like at first, but ended up loving. They really took me outta my reading comfort zone.
Poems are whatever you say they are (I’ll be honest, it took me a bit to accept a grocery list as a poem), and so are books (lengths do vary for certain genres). But, all in all you can play around with it.
Say what you want to say however you wanna say it.
5. They don’t need to be full books or long speeches that repeat the same idea
You can summarize them in 3 sentences: You should write every day or when you can. You must write for yourself. Actually…just write.
And maybe a corny (but truthful because people are afraid of failing or even succeeding!) line about not holding yourself back and being willing to fail because not everything you create will turn out to be a masterpiece.
6. I don’t really need the help.
I have the creativity. I write when I wanna, or when I have to. I sometimes don’t because I don’t wanna. Sometimes I force myself when I don’t want to just to do something. So, I guess I don’t read ’em because I can’t see them inspiring me or see them being helpful.
They can’t really tell you anything you don’t know. You know to write. You know that either you work best when you sit and force yourself to do it or dialogue comes to you when you take showers.
Note: of course books by authors on writing may include anecdotes that ties in ow they can up with their story idea. Those are interesting if you like the author and their work and you’re like “huh, wonder how they came up with that.”
If it inspires or helps you then GO AHEAD. I’m not here to crap on what you love. I just want you to write!
Thanks for reading. Peace.
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