Writer's Toolkit

Comments on Ten Steps to Become a Writer, by Joe Bunting

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Since the beginning of times this Frog here, meaning moi-même, has a terrible crush on words. I’m the annoying girl who goes in the car reading all sorts of publicity in billboards, the signboards with funny village names and all that has words and my eyes can catch in seconds of unwanted attention. I guess I inherited this craziness from my mother, but in a quite different way. I’m addicted in words, my Mum in numbers, she’s a Math teacher with an obsession of counting everyone’s buttons, be it a jacket or a shirt, and to make calculus with the numbers on license plates. I can envision a future of meltdown for us or maybe we are just disguised genius with quirk habits.

As you can see my mind totally digressed, I was trying to write some comments on Ten Steps to Become a Writer by . I guess it was the reference to childhood and writing… I always cringe a little when I read instructions and advice on being a writer, not that I don’t think it’s important but because it weights me down. I end up thinking I’m no writer and never will be, that my life is totally condemned to failure and anonymity and postpone writing, thinking about writing or dreaming about it.

“most writers I know struggle with two things: discipline and focus.”

Totally true, mix it up with a lack of self-confidence and nothing will ever be written. One good exercise to help you with discipline and focus that I totally recommend is Nanowrimo. I never wrote so much in so little time. I had to make time for it and I found out that all my usual excuses were just that, excuses… I had the time, the ideas and my fingers were busy with words. So, make the time!

“All writers tell stories. Great writers tell great stories. Learn to tell great stories.”

And learn it from the best, I would add… I’m now reading short stories from Poe, although you would think I’m no one to be saying this, the truth is I’m always thinking what I would change, what I would do differently, with the usual whispered comment of “what a genius!”

“Writers are learners.”

Yes, writers are always learning to write and also learning things you would never suspect. I wrote a novel, which probably will never see the light of day, that had a gay couple and I wanted to portray it in the most realistic way, no stereotypes or preconceived ideas, I read, researched and watched Youtube videos. That’s how I found out Abigail Roux, so nothing is lost, always gained.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal”

One good writing exercise you can do is to pick one short story and rewrite it, keep the same structure and the same plot but use your own style and voice. Or you can pick a story for children and change the scenery, place Cinderella in modern times for example.

“When you see pain/poverty/evil/injustice/death, don’t look away”

I’m an extremely sensitive person. I almost go to tears when I see a very elderly woman begging. These things stick with us and make us human and to write you have to be human and feel things. Sometimes I think I feel too much and that makes me all tangled up inside, writing can be healing in the way you pour those feelings out of the paper. So use the pain, yours and others and your writing will be richer.

“It’s the middle that’s always the hardest.”

I have two novels in my Scrivener, they are almost complete and I really love the beginning and the end, but the middle sucks. Since the middle is the majority of the “thing” I guess I have a problem and unless I solve it I will never show that to the world!

“Surround yourself with people who inspire you (some of them may be writers)”

I have one person to rely on… my wonderful, beautiful and amazing cousin that also likes to write and so we exchange texts, ideas and crappy writings. Even if you don’t want someone from your circle of friends or family to know what you are doing, or if don’t know anyone who also loves to write just go online and meet a whole bunch of crazy and amazing people that share what they know on blogs and e-books. Just don’t forget to spread the love and thank them, I even created a page for spreading the love… Thanks

See I just wrote today… How about you?

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