Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shut Up & Write!

Um... yah... Those are words you are going to hear a lot out of me...

But I'm not telling YOU to shut up (well, I kinda am, but you forgive me in a just a moment), I am telling those crazy ass voices in your head that are whispering so insidiously that you "aren't a writer"or "how dare you try to write."

So be forewarned, if I get the sneaking suspicion that you are listening to those voices, I am going to say, what?

Oh ya... SHUT UP & WRITE

Sure I love to talk about act structure and the hero's journey and playing the magician off the love interest, but none of that does any good if you just nod your head then go and hide under your bed or 'lose your laptop' or get 'too busy' to write that next scene.

Do I remember what it used to feel like to hear those voices and have them try to ruin my writing career? Yep.

Some of them still crop up every once in a while, but I am lucky enough that either they are quieted or I notice they are nothing more than a voice and move on.

I would also love to say that this is going to be a touchy-feely blog or that I'm your biggest cheerleader.

But, alas, that's not how I roll.

I love writing, I love editing, I love re-writing, and I love helping writers who want to improve their writing and take their craft seriously.

I'm sorry, we just have too much real, practical, important craft stuff to cover for me to coax anyone into believing they are a writer.

So here is my philosophy. If you groove to it, great. Follow this blog and we'll be BFFs.

Can anyone write? Of course they can.
Can everyone write well? That depends on how much they wish to improve.

Can we all be Stephen King? No.
Can we all write up to our full potential? Yep.
Is that full potential to the level of King? I have no freaking idea.

But so many people seem to need to know if they'll ever be as good as King before they even try to be as good as their garbageman (which I shouldn't say, because he might have some wicked prose).

My advice for today?

Give yourself permission to write badly. I mean stinky, crappy, your cat shouldn't even read it badly.

Because, you know what?

Some days that's all you are going to write.

And even that heaping pile of gooey bad writing is better than no writing at all!

Next blog...

Shut Up and Write Through It!
#wow #Idosayshutupalot #butitsforyourowngood #orsoshesays


  1. This is a great post! You made me think about those stupid voices and how often I actually listen to them. Thank you for that! :) I will get back to work. And will RT your post for you!:)

  2. Love, love, LOVE it! I'll make sure every writer I know hits this blog. Love your no-nonsense approach! :)

  3. A much-needed kick in the pants! Thanks!


  4. This blog helped me to put to paper the ideas I've had for a story for a while. Thank you very much. :-)

  5. I actually took a different turn with my writing after reading this soooo thanks Carolyn :)

    My husband always encouraging me to "just write" so did that this week and your blog sent me in same direction.

  6. Haha! So true - I have to just sit down, shut up and write! Just do it! And without distractions...twitter...facebook...hehe.

  7. Great post! We all have that voice inside us, channeling our own fears and repeating the skepticism of others in our life. When I'm stymied, I try to channel my experience as a wire reporter, where not writing when I had to write would lead to termination. At least I know I can write when I have to, although it may not be very good when I start out!