We All Write Differently

Sometimes, instead of following the suggestions of others, you need to listen to yourself.

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I’ve been struggling with writing quite a bit lately. Over the last couple of months I haven’t really written anything that’s of any level of quality, and what I have written has been significant challenging to get down on paper. I’ve been through this before, for much longer periods than this. Looking back at what went wrong in the past and how it got fixed, the answer is as clear as anything possibly could be as to why I’ve been struggling lately.

I don’t care for planning my writing. I get the gist either worked out in my head or on paper and then just fill in the gaps. The story tells itself. That’s how I’ve always written and, generally, it’s worked pretty well for me. Except, this time, I decided to do a pretty extensive plot for my writing. And that’s when the problems started. Trying to write the scenes that I’d plotted out consistently failed. I wasn’t able to write them. But I persevered.

I’ve also learned an awful lot over the last few years. Going to groups and meeting other writers has greatly increased my knowledge base on story crafting. I’ve been trying to apply all of this to my writing. Making sure that I follow the rules and do things the proper way. The professional way. If I want to take writing seriously I can’t just sit down and write whatever comes to me; that’s what amateurs do.

Except there isn’t one way to write well. There are advocates for plotting, advocates for going with the flow and there are those who don’t care at all. There are those who follow all of the rules and, again, those that don’t. And that’s fine.

Ultimately, I knew exactly why I was struggling with my writing. I was trying to fight every instinct in my body to write the way that professional writers are supposed to, instead of the way that I wanted to write and the way that I write best. It took a couple of other writers to point out where I was going wrong, but once they did it was obvious, and I knew what I had to do. I had to write like me.

There are countless people that are more than happy to tell you that you’re writing wrong and that you have to do it a certain way if you ever want any hope of getting published or realising your dreams. Ignore those people. Listen to advice, take on board what works for you and write the way that you need to. The rest of it will fall into place if you can get that right.

David Chitty was born and raised in Thanet in the 90s. He devotes most of his energies to writing fantasy fiction novels.

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