It is my belief that living a fulfilling and rewarding life is all about the risks we take, not the times we played it safe and maybe avoided some sort of trouble, heartache, or a prison sentence.
Imagine how colorless and tame the world would be if artists didn’t take chances. Painters, poets, and photographers will tell you there’s no BOOM in the safe bet. All the fun is outside the lines. Don’t tell me Ben & Jerry didn’t go out on a limb from time to time.
Every day I meet someone who tells me they have a great story inside of them, and then they ask if I would like to write it. I have tales of my own flapping around in the attic, so I suggest that they pen their own book/short story/ransom note. Usually they look at me as though I’ve belittled the discovery of a Starbucks on Mars.
The #1 reason people don’t write is fear. “I don’t know how and it would be embarrassing.”
There are dozens of authors who don’t know how to write, and whose books have become bestsellers, so “you really shouldn’t let a little thing like ability get in your way,” she panted, biting her lip, tingling erotically all over, biting her lip erotically. And tingling again.
Seriously. If reality TV has taught us anything, it is that there is nothing *so stupid, or so insanely insipid as to not be of tremendous interest to a fairly large swath of our “culture.”
I’ve compiled a few tips that might make it easier to overcome your anxiety and fear about getting started.
Ready, set, JUMP!
1. Carry a notebook. It can be small enough to fit into a bag or shirt pocket.
2. Pen. You’ll need a pen if you go with #1.
3. Write shit down. Ta da. The mere act of placing words on a blank page is technically writing. If you want to get specific about it, write something that you would enjoy reading. The law of averages dictates if there’s one of you, there must be more. Write for those guys.
4. Practice your authorin’ skills in everyday correspondence. You may use complete sentences with punctuation, spelling and actual words in emails. It is not forbidden to do so. 😉
To the person who felt an earlier blog was deserving of the ‘pile of dog poo’ emoticon,
5. Write two sentences each day. Make them count. You’ll begin to gain confidence. Think I’m BSing you? One rather successful author told an entire story in only six words:
Longed for him. Got him. Shit. —Margaret Atwood
Another author who was no hack wrote this,
For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn. —Ernest Hemingway
Those few words pack a wallop, don’t they?
6. Chew with your mouth closed. This is the first step toward writing like Hemingway. I promise.
*We do not refer to Feng Shui + Charlotte Nightingale, which is insanely smart and funny and in no way so stupid or insanely insipid.