Write a bad book, and other great advice

Posted: 11 January, 2012 in inspiration, writing
Tags: ,

In looking for a project to work on I’ve decided to stop overlooking the project that has been my “one day” project for the past 11 years. A one day project is that project we’ve had on the back burner for a long time in the hopes that “one day” we’ll get it finished or even started.

This is my year to get mine finished.

It’s a book I’ve been working on for over a decade.  I have lists and notes relating to this book and some chapters written; now it’s time to get focused and finish it.

When I think about this project and how much of an accomplishment it will be for me when I finally finish it, I also have the negative, self doubts making themselves comfortable in those areas of my mind usually reserved for productivity and optimism.

I push the negative aside and think about two authors who have inspired me with their advice on writing.

Firs, is the example of Diana Gabaldon whose first book was a “practice run” for the real thing.  She wanted to venture into book writing and thought that the best way to learn how to write a book was to … write a book!  Her “practice” book went on to be published as the first in a series of fantastic books and has given her a career in writing she wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for that advice to herself.

My second inspiration is Chilean author Isabel Allende’s advice to writers who took her university writing classes. She told all of them to stop thinking about writing a great book or a bestseller, and write a bad book. The advice was supposed to get budding writers writing, instead of stressing about writing the perfect sentence or worrying about what others would think of their book.  Anyone can write a bad book, Isabel Allende told her University of California students.  And that’s exactly what they did. Along the way, adjustments and corrections were made, the writing was cut, polished and, finally, completed.  One of these students even had their work published by a major New York firm.

This is what I need to think about when doubts set in: every author I now admire started exactly where I am today – with a blank screen (or sheet of paper) and a story to tell. They may not have been the best or the fastest, but they are the writers who started and kept the words coming until the job was finished.

  1. biancofiore says:

    This was exactly what my post was about today!

    I love that us writers are always struggling with the same issues….

    • RickyB says:

      I love that too! And I love that if I can’t find a way through my problem there will be another writer online who can help me through it. Like that You Tube link you had on your blog – brilliant! Exactly what I needed and so true for me when I’m struggling. Love it!

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