How to be a WRITER

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In which Yuffie slaps some sense into the writing world.

1. Your readers don't care what kind of person you are. They don't care if you're a douche, a druggie, or a criminal. They don't care if you broke up with your boyfriend/girlfriend today. They don't care if you just found the cure for cancer.

All they care about is the story you write. So suck it up, stop complaining, and WRITE.

2. Tired? Write anyway.

3. Angry? Write anyway.

4. Having the worst day of your life? Shut up and write anyway.

5. You see that person with the most gorgeous, beautiful, heart-wrenching writing you've ever seen? Get it through your head that you will NEVER write like them. That is plagiarizing and is illegal. Write your own words, your own voice, your own style. No one can ever say "______ is the greatest writer of all time." That's comparing apples to airplanes. One person may have the greatest idea in the world, but they're bad at characterization. One author could have the most dazzling descriptions, but the plot falls flat. There is no such thing as a perfect book. Words can never be perfect. They are what they are. Just as you can't say one person's life is worth more merit than another's, one writing style is not any better or any worse than another. If you try to copy someone's style, that's worse. It will never be the original, so don't even try. Come up with your own style that no one else can ever copy. Your writing is YOU.

Note: Maybe writers who are just starting out can copy. Monkey see, monkey do. Artists learn by copying other works, too. But eventually you need to let go of that crutch and learn your own style. Work with dozens of your favorite styles and take bits and pieces of them to find your writing voice.

6. Stop whining about your story not being popular. Remember why you started writing in the first place, before you ever joined a writing site, before you ever showed your story to a single other soul. Why did you write it? If you say, "To get rich and famous," you don't deserve the title of Writer. You wrote becuase you loved it. Because it was fun. Stop gazing longingly after those stories with millions of views and work on your own damn story.

7. Lacking inspiration? Sit down, type a word, stare hard at it, and type another one. Repeat until you finished the scene. Do not get up before that, no matter how painful it is, no matter how flat and lifeless the scene looks. Stop whining, and write.

8. Stop whining. I mean it.

9. Keep writing.

10. Write some more.

11. Write until your fingers are sore.

12. Now you may whine.

13. Get a bowl of ice cream, then sit back down and write.

14. Writer's block doesn't exist. It's just your brain making excuses so you can whine. If you truly love the story you're writing, you will keep writing it, even if you're writing word vomit. You can always go back and edit, but you need to have something written first. I promise, even if you end up scrapping the entire chapter, you will feel accomplished because you wrote something. And now you know what didn't work. It narrows down your options for what will work.

15. Writing is not easy. It never was, and it never will be. Don't let yourself believe it's anything less than grueling. A well-crafted story takes time, energy, effort, blood, sweat, and tears. (Okay, hopefully not blood and sweat. I'd be worried then.)

16. If someone gave you a comment that brought tears to your eyes because you were so touched, print it out and stick it to your wall, right next to where you write. If you have multiple such comments, even better. Make a collage.

17. Remember why you write. Always remember it. If you tend to forget, write it down, preferably in large letters. Stick it to your wall so you look at it every, single day.

Guys, there is no advice on how to become a better writer. You get better by practicing and figuring out for yourself what works and what doesn't. Feedback from others is crucial. CRITIQUING others is even better. It makes you more critical of your own writing, so you become better at spotting your own flaws.

So the secret to becoming a better writer

-read

-write

-critique

That's it. There's no magical wand to wave, no divine intervention, no luck. You get better by shutting your mouth and writing.

Now, GO WRITE.





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