Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bald Punk on Writing 101

February 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Everything Else, Fiction

(Bald Punk)

The other day I gave a pep talk to someone who had started her first book. Long story short, I dug through my files and found this article I wrote years ago.

The voice sounds corny, but I still like it.

Keep in mind that I’m no expert on writing. So take this advice on the “left hand side.”

Bald Punk on Writing 101

Over the years many people have told me that they have a great idea for a story and that I should be the one to write it. Since I’m knee deep in ideas, my response invariably is: “Why not write it YOURSELF?” And you know what, I’m always dead serious. Why shouldn’t I be.

Are you one of these people? Have you ever had an idea for a story or a movie and just wished you could catch the idea of a writer. Or have you ever seen a mediocre movie or read a poorly written bestseller and thought you could do better. Well???

How do you begin, that’s easy, at the beginning of course. But first, forget about the daunting task of writing a book or even a complete story. Your aim is to write one great, and I stress “one great paragraph or opening.” For now don’t concern yourself with questions like: How long should it take me? Or – How many edits or rewrites should I do?

Set your aim and fire! Finish what you start. Time is unimportant. And when you do complete the task, recite the mantra . . . live the mantra: “I did it once, I can do it again.” That paragraph becomes your launching pad into the story. Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability. After all you’ve done it once, you can do it again and again and again.

In writing my first novel I took comfort and inspiration in the first sentence. The nightmare became real the moment Jack opened the door. It was the doorway to the novel that I opened again and again. Although it didn’t turn out to be “The Great American Novel,”  I learned a lot about writing and myself.

First and most importantly: Writing is a thrill.

A friend once said to me, “What if you can’t sell your novel?” (Have you heard of any Bald Punk bestsellers???) “Won’t you be upset at having wasted so much time.”

Without thought–as if writing was as easy as walking down the street, I responded, I’ll write another.

Above all writing is a blast. It can be your own personal Magic Mountain.

The moment the creative juices start flowing, then there’s no stopping the writer within. Trust me on this one. One of the greatest and most inspirational things I’ve ever learned about myself was that inside me was a creative force–seemingly another person that had been lying in wait. Sure I’d caught glimpses of him, but I never imagined how much power he could wield.

It’s time to go in search of your other self. Don’t wait another moment. Go chat, arm-wrestle, or chase that other something that’s inside of you. Find it, catch it, keep it, and nurture it! You’re more creative and intuitive that you ever thought.

Huh? What’s that??? Did I hear you say that writing is time consuming and you’re already too busy?

Nope. Defeat the “buts!”  Writing is fun!

AND YOU CAN squeeze a few moments of pleasure into your life. Just like you make excuses not to exercise or to take out the trash, you will make excuses not to write. Stand up for yourself. Defeat the ‘buts.’

Toe the line. Fight for yourself.

You’re not only smart and creative, but you have a writer camping inside of you. She’s tending the fire, roasting marshmallows, just waiting for daylight to come along. Open the door! Expel the buts! Let the writer breathe.

Let’s try a few clichés. Life ain’t no dress rehearsal. Or how ’bout, life’s too short, so play hard.

You get the picture. Now get on that horse. You’ve got someone sitting by a campfire waiting to talk to you.

Quick tips: Read across the board. Don’t stick to any one single genre, though KNOW the genre in which you plan to write. And get yourself a notebook and write down ALL the words you’re unsure of.

“But, but–” No BUTS! Your mind is a muscle, use it. Strength and entertain it! And guess who’ll reap the rewards???

–YOU WILL.

Although I hope you’re off and running, I’d like to recommend two invaluable books on the subject. Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury and Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande.

Enjoy Writing. Enjoy life.

–Bald Punk

Related posts:

Hemingway on the Brain

How to Structure a Short Story

 Here are my STORIES and PHOTOS

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