Wednesday, June 17, 2020

How to Unlock Your Writing Genius

Doors are hard to unlock unless you have the right key.

This is the front door to my office.
(Man, it needs some painting).
I need to use the right key to unlock this door;
not any key will do.

The same is true of your writing genius. Dreaming about being a writer never got anyone anywhere - just ask my brother who has been dreaming about becoming a writer for more years than I can remember. He has great ideas too. Ideas that would sell. But what does he do?


Dreaming is good if you take the time to do something about it. 

Make the time.

"Time waits for no man", the old saying goes, and it doesn't wait for women either. If you want to unlock your writing genius, if you want to learn how to become a writer, even the best writer you can be, then you must make the time. When I first thought about writing as a career I didn't have a lot of money to spend on classes. I couldn't afford to go back to school.

What did I do?

I checked out books at the library. I wrote. I attended a writer's

These are some of my books, and some of the books of other writers I have published
through Idea Creations Press.
None of them would have happened
had I not stayed on the wobbly bike.

Learning how to become a writer is a little like dusting off your bike, getting on the seat, and taking yourself for a ride. You might have peddled a few times before, but not lately, and as your bike wobbles, as you try to gain your balance, you realize you've still got it. You can still ride.

My personal belief? We can all write, but not all of us apply ourselves. The juice is in us, but we don't apply what's already there. 

Write more than you watch television or play games on your phone or...

Writing not only takes time it takes a lot of focused time. You've more than likely heard of morning pages, or writing a page a day - or about 500 words, but what of writing 500 words a day on a particular project? Rather than writing 500 random words that come to you, and then wondering what else you can possibly share later, you're just so exhausted getting it all out, why not use those creative juices right off the bat?

Say you're interested in writing a book about your childhood. Start your day by remembering an event that happened to you. You don't need to start at the beginning, just start with one remembrance. The next day, follow it up with another remembrance, and so on. Once you get enough written, you can then consider how you'd like to organize your book.

My first book was a mixture of true experience
and fiction as Samantha deals with her
parents' divorce.

What if you're interested in writing a novel? One of my favorite techniques is finding a picture, either from a magazine, a painting, or a book that reflects my vision. I look at that thing and start to write whatever comes to me. Will it be the beginning? Probably not. But it will be something. And the next day I can look at it again and see what else comes to mind. I may find my beginning on day three or day ten, but if I use my creative juices the day will come and I will know when my book has begun. And who knows? Those other things I have written may just be chapter three or ten!

Throw negative critiques out. 

Story bashing never helps. "Story helps" do. You will know right away what type you're receiving as you're learning how to become a writer by how you feel. Defensive? Bash. Time for a crying jag? Bash. "I really like this part right here." Help. "That's exactly how I felt as a kid." Help. "What were you trying to say here? I really want to get it." Help.

Negative critiques of your writing, especially in the beginning may create within you a desire to STOP. You will hear them, and when you do, let them go. Pick up your pen. Go to your computer and write. 

I usually write on my computer unless I'm away from home. 

But stay focused. Don't rant. Keep going.

Share your work.

Yep. I know, after hearing that you'll receive negative critiques as you learn how to become a writer, you may not want to share your work with anyone. Do. And continue to share even after the negative critiques, especially when you receive the negative critiques. As a writer, I am still learning, and I have been a published book writer since 2002! I was learning before that as well because I started as a newspaper reporter. 

My first draft on a paper for college
received a C-.
My final, an A as I remember.

I am still learning, and expect to be learning until my dying day. I still share my work. Not everyone likes it. And that's okay. I keep writing, and so should you!

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