I was a bit confused for a time about the writing process. See, here’s the conundrum: I have pored over the pages of all the books on writing, taken classes on this and that. My library is chock full of “how to” books that I finished many, many years back. Magazines have littered my writing cave. They say to keep it simple, to avoid this and that and the other thing, do this, don’t do that … which is all good. However, why is it when I pick up a best-seller, it seems none of these “rules” have been followed? Hmm, oh, I see. Is it a conspiracy to create cookie-cutter authors? Is it merely a business to sell their books, their guidelines, in order pay their mortgage payments? Nah, that’s just my paranoia peeking out. And over the years I have come to this conclusion: Rules are bendable, to an extent. And above all; be yourself–unique with a voice of your own. I do understand the purpose of those books and classes on writing, and I keep little tidbits in the backrooms of my mind. Maybe I do follow those rules now, and don’t even realize it. Hmm? So, here’s what I think, take it to mean whatever you’d like:
This is the technological age where everyone knows everything about methods, right? And the onslaught of conflicting opinions come from every direction to bombard us into confusion. What about the authors of old, those who hadn’t taken a single class, or read one book on writing? They just wrote from their heart.
Yes, keep it simple. Or not. Yes, watch out for the myriads of issues. Or not. Yes, listen to the holy rollers that preach the methods of writing. Or not. Do not write merely for publication, for such narrow-minded focus robs creativity. Tell a unique story in your own style. Then I go back to the old adage: If you can’t find a book you’d like to read, write it. When I think of the writing “teachers” out there, a quote from Buddha comes to mind: