Monday, 6 May 2013

...or get off the pot


This week the theme is advice for aspiring writers

From all the books I have read about writing, all the people I have spoken to about writing and all the interviews I have read, listen to or watched with writers about the craft of writing, I have only two major piece of advice.

First,
Writers read,
You may not agree,
But I assure you this,
Reading is bliss.
And not just the stuff you adore,
That’s a bore.
Challenge yourself, be bold,
Let others work unfold.
For good and for bad,
Happy and sad,
In their words you will find,
Your own voice, but mind,
Careful not to copy,
That’s just sloppy.
But seeing is knowing,
Reading is sowing,
Your ideas will grow,
Words will flow.
And with the help of books,
Within your minds nooks,
The pieces will fit,
The plot you will knit,
And you know how and how not to,
Put the words down from inside of you,

Second,
Writers write,
Quite obvious right?
Yet still they use excuse,
Not produced,
Too happy, too sad,
You’re a writer, too bad.
You put the words out on paper,
Deal with them later.
But the writing is happening,
Not waiting for less apathy ,
Caught in a tsunami of procrastination,
You’re denying a nation,
Of entertainment and ideas,
Like a pair of frightened deer,
You first stand there, then run,
As if the laptop is a gun.
Just stop, take a mo,
Start typing, let it flow,
Get it out, let it play,
Come back to clean on another day.
Don’t say you “could have”, don’t say “you can’t”,
“I can” and “I have” should be your chant.
So sit at your desk and write something down,
Ideas are no good to anyone when you’re in the ground.

Philip Pullman writes 1000 words a day, five days a week. That means a first first draft of a standard novel of 50,000 words would take 50 days or ten weeks. And that’s the stuff from the heart, then you can start the editing process and make it into the book you want it to be. But at least it’s all there in front of you to work on.

Now go, write something.
Reactions:

4 comments:

vicky ellis said...

Couldn't agree more. You have to read and write every day. Simple.

Ashley R Lister said...

Very wise words.

Your title reminds me of a butchered phrase from my all time favourite novel: Good Omens (Gaiman and Pratchett). A character in there says: "It's time to shit or get out of the kitchen."

Still makes me laugh.

Colin Davies said...

I haven't list to Queens greatest hit in a while. Well, if I can't stand the heat, stop pissing.

Lisa McFleeca said...

Shit or get out of the kitchen is one of my favourite phrases that I never use because it should be copyrighted and stuck on t-shirts. (great book!)

Love the poems Col and the advice in them :-)