Let’s see now! Hemingway, Clancy, Cornwell, Gerritsen, Grisham, YOU? Maybe not the fame, but at least the writer part.
We all have life experiences. We have all observed the lives of others. We all have heard news stories and other anecdotes. We have all observed our own lives and the lives of others. It is from these sources that all writers draw their inspirations, and so can you. I suspect that the fundamental stumbling block for you like it was for me, is the fear of failing to write well.
There are many ways to learn how to write fiction. Even Stephen King has written a book on the subject. After checking out that book and many others, I have settled on James Scott Bell as my instructor. He is knowledgeable, straightforward, amusing, and focused on the actual process of writing. My first encounter with Mr. Bell was by buying his course on The Great Courses. It came as a series of thirty-minute lectures, which worked perfectly for me, as my morning runs last just over 30 minutes. I could take my run while listening to a lecture and still have time to play a couple of tunes. If you are not into audio lessons, Mr. Bell has written numerous pertinent books, focusing on any number of aspects of the art.
I won’t lie to you. Writing takes a lot of time. I mean A LOT! For this reason, you will need to treat this like any good habit and allocate a regular block of time and stick to the schedule. I know this to be true because I have had to manufacture a plan, despite the fact that I have only one known good habit…the afore-mentioned morning runs. Yes, I really do run 3 miles, six days a week. As I explain to anyone who cannot break away from me quickly enough, I am 69 years old with this one habit I must continue doing until I can’t stand up. After all, what are the odds of me coming up with another good habit at this stage of my life?
Oh, not only do you spend time, but you will need to have other eyes looking at your work at some point in the process. You can pay for proofreaders, but I am far too cheap and found that collecting a group of friends who like reading can do much the same work. My Beta group of eight was a delightful way to share the experience and gain insight.
One last nugget. Put the app Grammarly on your word processing program. Even the free version cleans up your writing wonderfully.
That’s enough for this newsletter. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out, and I will give you what help I can.
Thanks for your time, and take care.