I don’t mean to be rude, but I think it’s time for tough love. People ask me all the time, how I have either been so prolific or am able to maintain the output that I have. What I always tell people is – I don’t freaking know. I just do or am. That might sound like I’m a bit full of myself, but in all honesty, I really don’t know.
Some people have inner demons that they constantly need to work out that they do through their writing. Others, have some fun stories that they thought up. Some have worlds that they have created in their mind and spend so much time in their thoughts developing it, it seems like a better alternative to the reality they live in. Some even, have one story that has been burning inside them since they were a child, that has been pulling on their heart for them to write. And yet, there are some who have absolutely no passion at all, but understand the formatting of writing so well, that they can get hired to write about things they really don’t care about.
Maybe one of those people I just described are you. Maybe I missed you in that description. The bottom line is, it doesn’t fucking matter. The only thing keeping you from writing anything is you.
You may have some really hard life that you feel like no one can help you with and too much to do with too much debt, yadda yadda. It doesn’t matter. If you want to write something then fucking write something. This isn’t a feel good blog post or self help book. This is you realizing that you are the road block that is causing you to spend money and time (that you could use writing) trying to find an excuse as to why you aren’t doing it.
Maybe your in love with the idea of being a writer but realize that you are boring and your ideas suck ass. That may be true. But my advice here is to not over think it. Just fucking write something. It’s not hard.
Even if you don’t know how to type, just write. The first three books I wrote were all using the hunt and peck method.
But let’s get back to you being horribly boring with nothing interesting to say.
Have you ever told anyone a story? Don’t know? How about this, have you ever told anyone a story about some bitch at the grocery store or some asshole that took your parking spot. Maybe you had to retell a friend or co-worker about what happened on Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones while you were jerking off by the water cooler.
You have done that right? Awesome! You know how to tell a story. Probably not great, but that’s okay. Everyone has to start somewhere.
When I was a kid, I used to call my grandma and when she asked me what I had been up to, I would just tell her the whole story of whatever movie I just saw. I’ll never live down the day I called her to tell her the entire story of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!
Here is my point, let’s go back to the bitch in line. You tell your buddy, “This total bitch chewed me out in line at the grocery store.”
Your friend might say (if he gives a shit), “Really? What happened?”
Then you say, “I was just trying to grab the plastic divider thingy, but to do so I had to reach over her food and then she smacked my hand like I was her kid or something. Then she said, Say please and I’ll get it. It’s rude to reach over.”
Then your friend says, “Oh my God! What a bitch!”
You continue with, “I know right? That’s what I thought.” You take a swing of water from the water cooler. You know you have your friends attention. You got to go in for the kill. So you add some interesting facts or lies to the story. “I thought she figured I was trying to steal her ho-ho’s or something because she was a fat cow. But then I thought, I’m in the store, if I wanted ho-ho’s, I could just go grab them. I’m sure she knew that. But then I saw that she had a kid in the front of her cart, so maybe it was just a gut reaction she had at people reaching over things.”
Now your friend can chime in with an opinion. “Maybe,” your friend says.
Your story is about to end. You can’t let that happen. You still have your buddy on the hook, reel his ass in!
“So I told her to suck it,” you say.
This makes your friends eyes pop out of his head. “No fucking way!” he says.
“Yeah,” you continue. “So she leaves, I pay for my stuff and when I get to my car, she is fucking standing by it.”
“Holy crap,” your friend says. “What did you do?”
See, he’s locked the fuck in now.
Then you say, “I said to her, ‘What now, bitch?’ and she got mad.”
“I bet see did,” your friend says.
Then you finish the story with a bang, “She fucking grabbed and bent me over the trunk of my car and rammed a cucumber up my…”
Do you see what I did there? I took a boring as story that you would tell anyone, and I made a story up with it. Complete with you and your jag weed friend. That wasn’t hard. So now, you take the story about the asshole that took your spot. Start off with the truth and then use your imagination.
I’m sure you have over-exagerated a story before to hold people’s attention. Practice it. Finish reading this when your done.
You back? Great!
The most important thing that you just did, was to write. I don’t care what you wrote, I’m just glad you did.
One of the most amazing compliments I have ever received on my writing was from my dad. He read my book Anxious Anxiety and then called me up. He said, “How the fuck do you do that?”
I said, “Do what?”
“Take the most mundane, everyday life experiences and turn them into suspenseful stories,” he said. “I have had my legs fall asleep on the toilet before. I’ve been afraid of breaking my ankle before.”
Another great compliment was on a podcast that was reviewing one of my films, Ding Dong Dead. It’s about a guy who goes crazy when a group of teenage girls keeps ringing his doorbell and running away. So my lead character, Doug, goes on a rampage and kills them all Death Wish style.
The reviewer said, “For the first twenty minutes, I kept thinking to myself, why the hell would anyone make this movie? After that, I was hooked and just wanted to see how it would end.”
The bottom line is that there are no bad story ideas, there are just bad storytellers. So all you have to do is not be boring. That’s it. Don’t ever fucking be boring, ever in your entire life. You create the most exciting world ever and have it be the greatest thing of all time, but if your character or conflict are boring, it will be awful. Even if you have a chapter or a scene where nothing happens, it is now boring.
That is the cardinal sin. If a reader, or a viewer, gives you their money and their time, the worst thing you can do is bore them. So don’t.
Constantly make up things for your characters to do that is either funny, exciting, suspenseful, erotic, whatever.
If you are writing and you get ‘writer’s block’ it’s probably because what your writing or where you are in the story is fucking boring. Drop a bomb in the scene or make them slip and fall. Have a naked chick show up, have an earthquake, make their mom call. Have something there to make anything happen. I don’t care if it’s not I your outline. The reader will thank you.
Practice this. Think of something that pissed you off this week, think of something funny that happened to you, think of the last thing that scared you and then recount something you witnessed (that will help you in your narration). Get all four of those things and try to write a five thousand word story about it.
After that, write about the last time you had sex. Everything leading up to it, the gory details and what happened after it. Even if it was just with yourself!
Do these things and once you hare able to just write, you will be able to just write. It’s not hard. You just like to make excuses. So stop that now, and just fucking write something. You know you want to.
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