Thursday, 9 May 2013

Just do it!

Boy, sometimes I get a little fed up with all the (usually) well-meaning blog posts telling me how I should write. I'm bombarded with them daily. Posts on characterisation,  plotting, the technicalities of writing... I could probably spend a good portion of my day reading about how to write and get very little actual writing done. I wonder how much time very successful authors spent researching 'How to Write'. I suspect many just sat down and wrote. And honestly, isn't learning 'on the job' the best way of leaning anything?

I am not a plotter. I don't write out character sheets (boring) and I don't delve deep and discover all their inner motivations. Mostly because, hello, these guys are living and breathing in my head. They are keeping me up at night with their problems and their fears. I don't need to spend hours writing that down because they are with me 24 hours a day, whispering their problems to me.

If you're a new writer, all this 'advice' can be really intimidating. Yes, strive to give your best but don't get bogged down with what others are telling you to do. We all work differently and at the end of the day, the best way to learn your craft is to do it. Whether you write a few pieces of rubbish and bin them or maybe resurrect them one day and improve them, it doesn't matter. It' all good practice.

I suppose I've just delivered a preachy blog post, just like the ones I loathe now, haven't I? But I hope people take this as an inspiration to take that leap and just write. Fear is something that holds back many a writer and unfortunately what is intended as friendly advice can turn into yet another obstacle for even the most seasoned author. Do what you feel is best and if you want to write out what your character's favourtie colour is, great, but I don't think any amount of answering random questions can make up for time spent actually writing.

On that note, I better practice what I preach...


  1. Nice blog Samantha. I'm guilty of this I'm afraid. I get bogged down with internal and external goals that it takes longer to write the story. Thanks for the reality check. :)

    1. It is soooo easy to get overwhelmed by these things. I do it myself a lot and us authors are terribly good at self-doubt.I think all these helpful articles often do more damage than good. I am determined to read them no more!