On Thursday I will be submitting my latest piece to Indie Ink, a website that takes writing submissions based off writing prompts that are matched with authors. I have submitted to Indie Ink in the past – nearly of my Hannah Sketches are based off of the Indie Ink challenge prompts, and this week I will add another, my first since the end of January.
I’m not sure what it is about writing prompts that make it so much easier for me to write a short story. Though I’ve been writing for years, what I write tends to swing between short blog posts and 60K+ word novels. I have never considered myself a master at the short story, and I am only starting to believe I have any talent in it at all based on the feedback I’ve gotten from Indie Ink. Hannah’s story has become really important to me, though. I guess I am just musing that perhaps I am creatively blocked lately, and without a little push from a prompt or a friendly suggestion, I may not write anything at all.
Working for Scope, it seems that it may be the same for a lot of other writers. I’ve heard a lot in the past few weeks, “I really want to write, but I just don’t know what to write about!” Could it be that we all work better under a little guidance and pressure? Can the expectation of others be what is really driving me to create?
At any rate, I am thrilled with the burst of creativity I’ve seen among my friends and peers lately. People are starting blogs left and right, submitting to Scope all sorts of great opinion articles, blogs, and amusements.. It feels really great to be at this place I am in right now, surrounded by like minded people who seem to actually get it, you know?
We aren’t all going to be published. We aren’t all going to win awards for our writing, or be paid for it, or be recognized outside of our own little community.. but in my opinion, that isn’t the point. Well, it’s not the most important point.
To be creating – to be putting oneself out there to be seen through words and pictures and ideas – it’s awesome. And we should be proud. Because we are the brave ones.
Writing, like all forms of artistic creation and expression, takes time, patience, and determination. To those who have tipped their hats to writing, you are my comrades. So, if you are struggling with self-doubt over silly things like talent, I give to you the best piece of writing advice I’ve ever encountered, from Brian K. Vaughan (who was a writer for LOST!)
That’s it. Everything else is meaningless. You can take all the classes in the world and read every book on the craft out there, but at the end of the day, writing is sorta like dieting. There are plenty of stupid fads out there and charlatans promising quick fixes, but if you want to lose weight, you have to exercise more and eat less. Period. Every writer has 10,000 pages of shit in them, and the only way your writing is going to be any good at all is to work hard and hit 10,001.
By my estimation, I’ve only purged about 2,999 pages of shit out of myself. I have a long way to go, but at least now I get to make this page shitting journey with friends.