As writers we all have our favorite authors. We look to their work, their lives, and their writing process for inspiration. Through them, we discover new ways of approaching our own passion for writing. For instance, like many others certainly are, I am a fan of Stephen King and over the course of my development as a writer I have read many of his famous works and personal interviews which often include advice for aspiring writers. King is often quoted for saying, “Read and write four to six hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can’t expect to become a good writer.” Stephen King is famous for this strict professional schedule when it comes to both writing his latest story and reading other authors, not to mention his praise for writing long hand or using typewriters as ways to bring oneself closer to their writing.
Famous writers’ advice are often heralded in ways that may remind the casual onlooker of diet trends, as aspiring writers will latch onto these, or other methods to legitimize their amateur writing ventures. No doubt, I remember forcing myself to wake up or stay up at ungodly hours to accomplish what I thought was the professional schedule of a writer. Or, the several weeks I spent tip-taping and click-clacking away on an old Underwood with a dry ink ribbon, trying to tap into the feeling that my King-ly idol had while working on such horror genre classics as It and The Shining (regrettably, but unsurprisingly, to no avail). These infatuations are common and short lived, but I believe are very necessary for the aspiring writer.
To pick up and try out the habits of writers we are inspired by, encourages over time our own habits, quirks, and strategies to develop. How would I have ever known, that I can only stand to sit and write in one spot in one medium for a couple hours at a time without first attempting to write for 5 hours and read for 5 hours every day for a month in an attempt to be more like a horror author who has his professional career doing just that. How was I to know, that writing is a process and that process must be practiced to get that level of commitment and expertise, If I first had not tried to go the full hog? I would not have learned, I would not have known, I would have stagnated and perhaps given up writing all together. Instead, through experience, through trial and error I learned the hard way that I cannot be a better author by simply copying the methods of great authors, and that to truly improve one must commit to trying methods that sound beneficial and then adapt them to the life one is currently living.
What college aged poet hasn’t romanticized the works of Bukowski and thought, “I should try this thing called alcoholism; maybe that will make me tragic enough to give a sense of reality and drama to my bland style?” A little extreme perhaps, but don’t tell me no one has at least tried the age old maxim of write drunk edit sober to get through a daunting term paper or two.
There are as many approaches to writing as there are types of individuals in the world. Of all the advice I have read, taken or ignored the only reality to being a writer is to perform the act of writing. The moment the action, the writing, is finished, paused, or given up is the moment one is no longer a writer. Thus, I conclude to succeed in the world of writing it may not be as strict a process as writing for so many hours and reading for so many more, but rather it may be the simple idea to never stop writing in the first place. Even if you write for a brief amount of time each day, week or month, through writing over the course of years you are bound to create and improve. It may not mean you will become a “professional writer” but a writer you shall be and that, I believe, is an important achievement on its own.
Share your view point, create a world, escape a moment, be yourself and write to leave your mark. Some may say if nobody reads it then it doesn’t matter. but if you never write no one will even have a chance.
way too early
brush my hair
with bread crumbs
think about the post-modern
novel where they feed ducks
that act like real people
then type a few words
pollen, bratwurst, plume
for a moment
to make an
your quota for
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Also, a huge thank you for all the last minute submission we received! TJ and I are currently reviewing these final submissions for our first publication now! Really looking forward to creating a beautiful work of art for all those who were involved! We will send out acceptance emails and information as to when to expect to see the work put out soon!