Updated: Sep 1, 2018
At the mixers, a question that comes up a lot is, “How exactly do you do this writing thing?” And queue the avalanche of “shoulds” and “have tos”!
I’m here to tell you there is absolutely no one way to write. Do you write every day? Great! Don’t? You’re still a writer!
There is a lot of really great writing advice out there—there will be lots coming up on this blog—but the thing you have to do is find what works best for you. That’s the only right way to write.
Personally, I’m not a big outliner. I work best with deadlines and word count goals, even if they’re self-imposed. I don’t write everyday. I don’t do character sketches, or elaborate act outlines, or much prework at all. I always do an outline after the first draft. I really like Don’t Break the Chain and, recently, the Save the Cat! Beat Sheet.
Some of those things may work for you. Many of them won’t. That doesn’t make me a better writer than you! (Or you a better writer than me.) It’s just how it is. You have to find what works for you. Unfortunately, that’s a lot of trial and error. I wish there was this great big secret that will get your book (or poem, or short story, or whatever) written, but there just isn’t.
Still, soak up all the writing advice you can! Talk to fellow writers at the mixers and beyond. Read lots of blog posts and watch vlogs about how to write. Just be aware of people who tell you this is the only way because they are nearly always wrong.
In addition to running the OWC, I am a freelance editor and writing coach. Check out my website if you're interested in learning more!