First, know that the major doesn’t matter. You either end up writing or you don’t. Your job, whether you ever get a real one or not, is to make sure you do the former.
Second, you know how you always hear “write what you know?” Well that’s good advice. Also you should try to use what you know to fake what you don’t know. After a while you’ll fake it so good you practically invented it, so then you know it better than people who said they knew it to begin with.
Don’t tell people what you’re writing, like, ever. It’s the quickest way to kill the thing, even if you’re convinced there’s no way you’ll ever go back. You’ll go back. In six months you’ll think about the thing you were writing and all you’ll be able to remember about it is how Steve from work thought your milieu needed a little more thinking through.
"It did need thinking through," you’ll think to yourself, "but I never got down to doing the thinking."
Only, you’ll be wrong. It didn’t need thinking through - it needed writing through. As all things written do. Get it on paper first, first. And do it as fast as you can. The moment you had the feeling, or thought the thing, start. Write it down, and more often than not you’ll find you can get a whole something out of it. You might not use that whole something, or even part of it, but at some point people are going to ask you for things you’ve written, and you won’t be able to show them a piece with at least some potential without first having a piece.
After it’s on paper? Mostly up to you. I figure I read it a bunch, picking out little things that annoy me and adding little things to make a clearer picture of what I want the reader to see. Then I look at all the aspects of the thing - Theme, Plot, Setting, Character, Relationships, Flow, Speed, Voice, etc… and try to pinpoint its weak spots. Shore those up.
Then put it away for a real long time. Come back to it when you’re another writer. Let that writer see what you couldn’t, and polish it, and send it out.
And don’t save your rejection slips. Being a writer isn’t about souvenirs.
Last thing: Don’t listen to anything another writer says about how to write.
- adamholwerda posted this