The process of writing can be magical — there times when you step out of an upper-floor window and you just walk across thin air, and it’s absolute and utter happiness. Mostly, it’s a process of putting one word after another.
I should be sleeping.
It is 11:55 and I should have been winding down, tucked in bed, book in hand an hour ago. But no. Instead, here I am sneaking in a blog post addressed to you guys because I looked at my twitter feed in between pages of my book and found this - words of wisdom from one of my favorite writers, Neil Gaiman. I know, I could have waited and posted this tomorrow like a normal person but I just had to share it here today.
There is a lot to be said for writing first drafts. And I have a blog post brewing about being more forthcoming about my writing life. My own successes and pitfalls. My frustrations and epiphanies. What and how I have been writing recently, as I write the tasks we have designed along with you. It is still taking shape in my head though, all of it, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, here is Gaiman giving wonderful advice to all writers, young and not so young. Whether you are writing the first draft of your memoir (Grade 7) or beginning to draft your opinion essay (Grade 8) or like me writing both (gulp), here are some golden nuggets to think about. Tell me what you think?
Tell your story. Don’t try and tell the stories that other people can tell. Because [as a] starting writer, you always start out with other people’s voices — you’ve been reading other people for years… But, as quickly as you can, start telling the stories that only youcan tell — because there will always be better writers than you, there will always be smarter writers than you … but you are the only you.