Find Success. Enjoy the Writing Journey!
Have you ever been told to stop writing to do better? Neil Gaiman’s advice is to live life a little and then come back to tell your stories.
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Neil Gaiman once told one of his students to stop writing. His talented, bright student had the skills to enchant and entrance. But his writing wasn’t enough.
Instead, he encouraged him to travel the world, watch sunsets, make friends and fall in love. No doubt having his heart broken and things going wrong in life wouldn’t hurt either.
From the deepest wounds do writers tell a tale of sorrow. From only purest joy can you write of joy in a way that makes the reader feel something of the same.
The student in question was a talented writer but didn’t have anything intelligent or new to tell. His stories lacked depth.
Neil’s advice was to write and see where it takes you.
I have 3 take-away points from this:
- Even a talented writer needs some excellent fodder to write well
- Writer’s block happens for a reason
- If you don’t care about the work you put out there, nobody else will
I will go through each of these in turn.
1. Even a talented writer needs some excellent fodder to write well
I’ve seen it. You recognise it. One of the best writers you’ve read. She has you hooked from the first page. She’s funny, insightful and paints a true picture of her world. But the story lacks depth. You leave the pages of the book feeling empty. You followed the story through alright. The characters were well rounded and the setting interesting. But nothing of significance actually happens to the protagonist. What’s going on?
Then you read the author bio and realise the author has an MA in Creative Writing but not much life experience.
Learn from her inexperience. Be certain that, through living life, your own writing will only get richer.