Saturday, November 19, 2011

Writing as a Series of Bad Haircuts

The series of pictures you see above aren't just there to humiliate me. They're there in response to a question that I get from time to time:

"I want to be a writer. How do I start?"

The guy in the pictures is young. He's got bad '80s hair and '80s posters on the wall. This is because, yes, it's the 80s. And in two of the pictures, he's writing (including one, where he's actually writing on a typewriter.) He doesn't know it, but he's at least eight years away from getting anything published.

So, if you want to be a writer, how do you start?

First, you write. Then you keep writing. Then, when everybody else around who says that they want to write eventually gets tired of it and gives up, you keep writing. The magic formula is there is no magic formula. You find an idea that you love so much that you can't leave it alone, and you keep at it. In all likelihood, years will pass before you get anything published, but that's okay. All that time, you'll be getting better.

It also helps if you're not afraid of humiliating yourself.

And feed a few woodland animals along the way.

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