The best writing advice I found is this: We are all the hero of our own story. In life, there are no supporting characters. Ask yourself this; have you ever, ever thought to yourself, ‘hmm, this isn’t actually my story. I’m simply here to make [insert person’s] life more interesting’?
So why should a fictional character think that? And I think that is what separates great storytelling from the good, bad and mediocre. I’m struggling with this in my current screenplay. It’s about a group of people that come together for individual reasons fighting for the same cause. Sounds a lot like life, right? And I’m terrified to start putting words down because I don’t feel like I intimately know all these characters yet, and that they will end up being boring and generic plot points instead of fully fleshed out people with personalities and motivations.
I define myself as a ‘flood’ writer. I spend days, weeks, months mulling over something, trying to find all the angles of what I want to say, until one day I just erupt and it all spills out over the keyboard for a few hours in which I don’t censor myself or try to edit too much. It’s a technique that has been working for me so far, but in order to become a ‘proper’ writer, one who writes screenplays, books and 12 episodes television series, I need more structure in my craft. Because a craft is something you work at, chip away at, every day whether you feel like it or not. A hobby is something you do because it feels nice and you’ve got some raw talent for it. But I’m finally coming around to the idea that raw talent means nothing without consistent work.
I really do want to be the hero of my own story. I have lived such a cushioned, comfortable life and I think somewhere in the back of my mind I keep waiting for that day when things get really tough and it will be my time to shine as a hero. That defining moment that every great fictional character get to have. But what if, thankfully, that moment never comes in my life? As much as I fully expect society to collapse in my lifetime, because globalization cannot be sustained in its current form, what if the collapse never comes and I spend my whole life as a white, privileged middle-class girl from a small, wealthy country? I’ll be damned if my tombstone reads something like; She had great ambitions but never mustered the courage to execute her ideas.
How do you overcome your creative hangups and work at your craft? On a scale from one to ten, how important is your art in your life?
I have stumbled upon a quote recently, something along the lines of “everyone can face a crisis, it’s day to day living that wears you out”. I resonate with what you wrote a lot — it’s easy to ask “What would Buffy do?” when you are facing your very own Hellmouth, but what do you ask when you face a pile of papers? :)
I work around it by identifying the things that drive me. For me, it’s mostly curiosity about the world around me, the desire to create and contribute, and fun with fictional and non-fictional characters. ;) So I try to learn something new every day, show up authentically and do something good for other people, and write, draw or have interesting conversations, even if they are just in my head. ;)
What about you? :)
I couldn’t agree more! It’s dangerous to live through fiction because your own life seems so boring in comparison ;) I guess that’s why writers and artists are so lucky – they get to live the stories they tell, at least in some capacity.
I think you have super sound advice. On good days I tend to do the same. On less good days, I tend to get stuck in my head too much. Thank you for stopping by! Is there anywhere I can read your writing? :)
And roleplayers! Don’t forget the roleplayers! ;)
Oh yes, the less good days… on those I usually just succumb to the meaningless of life, universe and everything. :) It goes away at some point.
I am about to start a blog on psychology and spaceships, going to hit publish in a week. (So scary!) I don’t write a lot of fiction nowadays, unfortunately, and when I do it’s mostly obscure background stories for my role-playing campaigns, something the world can really live without. :D
Psychology and spaceships sounds like the best combination ever!
I’m slowly getting back into writing fiction. It’s surprisingly hard! It’s so much responsibility to construct a whole new world. At least with this one I can be content to point out everything that is deeply wrong and not claim responsibility for it, haha :)
Thank you for saying the less good days go away. Amazing how easy it is to forget and how little it takes to be reminded ;)
From what I have read so far you are not exactly one to not claim responsibility. ;)
As someone who has been suffering from clinical depression I think that’s the biggest and meanest trap of the less good days — once we are in, we forget that they will go away. And sometimes, even when other people remind us, we don’t really believe it. That’s why we need them to remind us over and over again! With spaceships! ;)
I work with wood generally,for the past few years I have been designing and building a Strawbale home in Canada with several out buildings.Have also gotten creative with my landscaping there.Now I am working on creating a winter home on some land in Fl. And staying in a tent on it,raing now so no work at the present.
Love your writing :)
Yes food creativity is a big one for me as well,pizza being my fav.
Gonna build an outdoor wood oven just for them.
Pizza is my favorite too! An outdoor oven is top of the list for my future dream house, and it’s beyond cool to find like minded people. I’d love to stay updated on your building progress!
Hi Billy! That sounds incredible. Wow, I’m jealous :) I was raised in a small town with a whole forest at my disposal for building tree houses and such but I still always pictured myself as a city girl. Now that I’ve learned so much about sustainability, all I want to do is have enough land somewhere to build my own eco/sustainable house from scratch. Funny how life usually comes full circle. Do you have a blog or online gallery of your work? Are you a professional carpenter, or self-taught?
Please don’t be jealous,just manifest your dreams :)
Sounds like you are on the right path.
I studied construction all through high school and college but am far from a carpenter,although I can build most anything I put my energy towards.
Do not have a blog or gallery although have been told I should write a book about my experiences,far to ADHD to sit that long with my two finger typing.Lol.
I would be happy to teach you how to build if you would write my book :)
Consider myself to be very fortunate for my life and all I my experiences,it is a wonderful journey if we make it so.
I would be happy to share some pics of my buildings to this point if you like via email.
I overcome my creative blocks with the occasional use of good weed.
Art is of great importance in my creative life,so I would say an 8.5
That’s awesome. 8.5 is a solid number. I think art should come behind food but before a lot else :) what kind of art do you create?