Thursday, May 22, 2014

How I Found the Write Path

Carrie Butler, who often gives helpful advice to writers on her blog, posed an interesting challenge: write a letter to a younger version of yourself, when you first started writing.


Dear self:

Right now, you’re writing as a way to relieve the frustrations and disappointments in life. Keep at it. One day you’ll finish the novel you’re writing. After that, you’ll realize you need to get past that and go on to write other short stories and novels. It’s not that what you’re writing right now is so horrible. It’s that you’ll grow so much in this skill, you won’t have trouble leaving it behind to go on to greater things.

Keep on reading and watching what you love: science fiction and fantasy. You’ll read The Lord of the Rings again someday, believe it or not. Make sure to watch the reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (I know, it’s still playing, but keep an eye out for reruns.) When the SciFi channel shows their version of the really weird movie Dunewatch it and note the phrase, “The sleeper must awaken.” That is what will happen to your life.

You will become the person you never imagined you would be: the one who goes to conventions and conferences and pitches your manuscript to professionals. Watch out for females who seem to have a sexual attraction to you. This is not ego; this is a lifestyle among people who travel frequently, and it is a snare to avoid.

Do not be offended at the lack of capitalization after colons or the single spaces after periods in this letter. Fads come and go, even in capitalization and punctuation. This, perhaps more than anything else, is evidence that this letter is from the future. No investment or job advice is included, since that would alter the timeline.

Mark


Mark Murata
http://suburbanfantasy.blogspot.com/
“I give permission for my entry to be included in the e-book compilation without royalties and/or separate compensation.”

9 comments:

Tammy Theriault said...

Writing is definitely lethargic!!! Great letter full of editing tips we need to forgive ourselves of. Lol

Nick Wilford said...

I'll need to watch out for those rogue females! Haven't come across that one before. :) And yes, important to recognise that the first book is a valuable learning process, but seldom the one we want to publish.

Christine Danek said...

It's important to keep on reading and doing what inspires you. Best wishes!

Botanist said...

I haven't yet reached the conventions and conferences stage. By the time I do, I suspect stray females will be far from my mind :) Very thoughtful letter to your past self.

D Biswas said...

All the posts in this series are nothing short of fantastic! Some good advice here.

Stephanie Faris said...

Haha, love that part you added in at the end about no investment advice. That's what we REALLY would say if we could talk to our past selves. "Invest in this thing called Google..."

Carrie Butler said...

Good point. We mustn't alter the timeline! ;)

Thanks for participating, Mark!

Liz Blocker said...

Great advice! I liked the look back at the past of sci fi, too :)

Meradeth Houston said...

Nothing is better for the writing spirit than keeping up with your favorite shows and books!

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