Writing Advice, Writing Process

What Writing Is (and is not)

Writing is not an arcane activity. You don’t need to be an expert in anything to be able to write. Having good grammar, spelling, and punctuation helps, but as long as you have a story to tell, you can write fiction. You don’t need to take a writing course or follow certain rules. You can self-publish a book, and the only critic that can deny you that option is yourself. (The only exceptions to this are that companies have policies against publishing illegal or other extremely objectionable content, but this isn’t about your writing.)

So now that I’ve talked about what writing is not, here’s what writing should be most of the time: fun. Yes it can be hard, scary, or even boring at times, but it’s often fun. Reading stories is fun, and so is writing them. Most fiction is read for entertainment purposes, and even works with great literary merit can and should be enjoyable to read (and write.) Creating a good story is hard work but so very rewarding and entertaining.

If you don’t enjoy writing, think about why not. If you do, consider why you do. Maybe it’s the genre, the characters, or the setting. If one of those really makes the words fly onto the page, keep going! If not, change one of them. Just because you like to read a certain genre of novel, doesn’t mean you will like to write in it. It’s always fun to try a genre and find out if you like writing in it.

Once you really get into a story, it tends to tell itself. Your hands type on a keyboard or move the pen, but the story just is.

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