You’re the genius we’ve been waiting for…
I don’t care what anyone else tells you, there are no rules to writing, except to just write.
There’s no set time you’re supposed to write. It doesn’t matter if you write all day, or just for a few minutes… You can write at 3 in the morning, or 9 O’clock at night. The TV can be on in the background or the music playing, or it could be quiet with only the ocean waves hitting against the sandy shore…
It doesn’t matter how or where you do it, at a library, at your desk, sitting in your car – truly, there are no rules to writing my friend, just one – to write.
There’s no style that’s better either – using a pen, paper, typewriter or keyboard. Maybe you’re a storyteller who needs the beginning, middle and end of every great moment. Or maybe you’re a journalist who just reports on what’s happening here? Again, it doesn’t matter. Do both or do none. Or do something in between. Seriously, I swear, write however it suits you. But write, nonetheless.
Maybe you write scripts easily or a novel just jumps out of your head. It’s true, you could also provide content on a blog or scribble profound thoughts on a napkin instead. All of it, yes all of it – makes you a writer, I swear it, my friend.
Did I just sound like Dr. Seuss? Of course, I did! But what better example of a great writer to stick in your head?
Look, there are no brownie points for how long your piece is. You can write gibberish or poetry. There really are no rules — and don’t worry, you’re not a better writer if only you’d read a bunch of books. People keep peddling that one over and over again and I know it makes you feel bad – but don’t let it! It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t read books. But does it help? Of course, it can! But there’s no correlation between how many books you read verses how great of a writer you’ll be. Trust me, there’s no rule that says you’re better at anything because you’ve read 400 books, instead. And while I’m here, blogging is surely writing. Writing articles for a paper or magazine doesn’t make you more of a writer. Content writing means you can write and seduce people to buy things or to look over here. Cool, if that’s your thing. You write scripts? Great. Good for you. Writing is what makes you a writer. Period. End stop. Don’t compare yourself to others or make excuses for what you write. You be YOU. Unapologetic-ally. And if you aspire to be better, to do better, then bravo take those steps when necessary, but stop putting yourself down and comparing yourself to others – if all it does is stop you from writing, then you’re doing it all wrong my friend. Pick up that pen and piece of paper and write, write, write!
If you wake up every morning and you believe you’re a writer – then my goodness, lucky you, guess what? You’re a writer! No one said this better than Rainer Maria Rilke, “Letters to A Young Poet”. Think about it, someone was saying this way back then, and I’m sure someone else shared it way before that too – I’m sharing the same thought by the way, right now – NO ONE can tell you, NO ONE but you!
There are so many great writers who share some real truths. And here’s my favorite one of them all – most great writers don’t spend most of their time writing! Oh my God, what? Writers think, and spend time mulling, dreaming, taking it all in! …all of these are part of the process of being an artist, of being a writer. If no one ever told you, let me say it to you now: It’s okay to do it your way! If you write every day or weekly or monthly. Be proud! If you write notes, in a journal, on a blog or for a company. If you write in English or Spanish or Korean or French. All of it is welcome. Yes, you are a writer my friend. I promise you – I promise you, you are!
We stifle so many people by telling them “rules”. And then we stifle ourselves by believing it all too. The best writers, the best artists I admire always break all the rules – ever notice that?
I’m giving you permission damn-it, the world needs MORE writers, more artists, more genius and I think we’ve done a disservice by not telling the truth – there are no rules, no secrets to writing. Just write my friend, start writing, right now if it’s true!
And once you’ve put down your words, once you’ve started down that process – everything else will start to unfold. All will reveal itself, in time…. I promise you, it’s true.
The great thing about being a writer is a writer can be so many things – A poet can write songs – tell me Freddie Mercury wasn’t just a poet with an amazing genius band? Have you heard Bohemian Rhapsody? Writers can teach and move you to believe in a better world – A writer named Aaron Sorkin comes to mind. He wrote the TV show The West Wing among others – I learned all about politics because of that show! I bet you could name great pieces of work that all started with a stroke of a pen or keys. When I think on it a bit, I think everything starts with a piece of writing…Hmmmm…There are so many uses in our world for writing… writing is not just one thing. So, I don’t know who needs to hear this again – but DO YOU. Write your booty off and don’t question it so much!
Writing is a communication. The ability to share with others. A therapy to help oneself. It comes in all forms. Once you let go and just write and you start to feel comfortable with your own process, then and only then, will it matter what comes next. Yes, you start deciding what kind of writer you’d like to be. Sometimes the kind of writer you are, just presents itself. And it’s not that rare to realize you are more than just one thing. A poet, a lyricist, a musician, for example. Maybe there’s a story you’d like to tell? A book you’d like to write, a speech you’d like to share – or a stream of consciousness, uhem, you’d like to scream… Well, surely, there are rules on how to do all of that – you’ll figure it all out when it’s time. I promise it will happen, but just start writing, start right now.
The next great something is right there within you! You are the genius we’ve been waiting for….
No rules, my friend, just write. And the rest will unfold as it should, I promise.
With fierce love,