Fiction in particular.
Why is it we do it? Why do we write?
Yes, we want to tell stories. We enjoy that part.
But doesn’t it seem new writers are forever asking established writers about how they work? I admit to that same curiosity when I was a new writer. There is that element of curiosity for me.
Now it seems the new writer wants to absorb that information like a sponge; whether the well-known, respected writer prefers to write by hand or at a computer; whether he or she prefers to write in solitude or at a coffee shop; whether that writer writes into the wee hours of the morning or prefers the rising dawn as a time to write; whether said writer outlines or wings it.
All of that like knowing such tidbits will somehow transfer by osmosis the golden ring of success. It seems the new writer believes/hopes that if he or she can just understand the mechanical workings of a ‘successful’ author then that method can be duplicated and create a similar bubble of success for the new writer.
Big news! Surprise! There is no magic wand, no perfect formula, no recipe if meticulously followed, that will guarantee writing success. Heck, nothing to even guarantee mediocrity. There’s no important “thing” such as pen vs.computer, large desk vs. small or daylight vs. darkness that will hurl said writer straight into success.
Nope, for that we have to circle back to where this post began.
It’s why we write.
If the only thing driving your writing forward is the desire for ‘success’ then you might not be in the right field, or perhaps you need to get into commercial writing of some stripe. Maybe fiction writing isn’t for you.
I think it’s safe to say we’d all like to be the ‘big name’ writers who pull in the big bucks and can write comfortably from whatever environment we choose. Reality check. Only a very small percentage of fiction writers are able to make their living at the craft.
And, by the way, luck plays a very large role in which writers actually become those ‘big name’ writers. It isn’t that those said ‘big names’ aren’t talented, but what had to be added to that was being at the right place at the right time with the right story and the right drive to get there.
So what to do? Keep writing. Write what you love and put yourself out there. Your manuscript won’t be published, your screenplay optioned if you leave it in a drawer.
Don’t expect to uncover some magic formula that creates success. If you’re curious about other writer’s methods, ask, sure, why not? Incorporate some of those methods if it makes you feel better, but remember that ultimately your success lies with you.
Methods of writing don’t have much to do with it, other than simply getting it done. So gather your tools. Write, create, tell stories. Be in the right place at the right time with the right story.
No matter HOW you do it, writing the story is the only path that will lead you to writer’s success.