Friday is here and what better way to procrastinate into the weekend than with watching more videos. No this isn’t a cat video – not that I have a playlist of them :). If your going to waste time avoiding writing, then do it write by following other writers or spend it learning something new. Here is one of my go-to resources – Tedx Talks.
Today is award winning author of The Mercy Journal, Claudia Casper. Her futuristic novel was written out of research on PTSD, several drafts, and question and answer process. Her time on stage goes over the reality of writing with a sense of humor because we’re all crazy for taking on this kind of job. The difference is that we can’t quiet the voice/s in our head and we write them down, and we’re called normal.
Claudia shared about her discipline of writing 6 days a week, drinking coffee just before nervousness, and an hour of procrastinating. Her goal is to empty her brain for the day and then do it again tomorrow. She compared writing to carrying around a suitcase in your head for 3 to 4 years. The average number that I hear at writer events from published authors is actually 6 to 8 years for one book from start to finish.
Do you still want to be a writer? If you said yes, then you already have a headstart. Many people I run into at events still haven’t written their book. Once you finish you’re first one, you’ll ask yourself why you waited. Seeing and feeling a finished novel in your own hands in one of the most rewarding moments. The feeling never goes away.
Claudia shared this same feeling and she shares tools she used to complete her own novel. She recommends reading and consuming the art you want to practice. Get hungry from words. She admitted that following outlines is boring and she writing for her is rewriting because she has too many balls in the air. According to her advice, that’s okay. Write until you can’t make the story any better and then share with readers because what we have in our head doesn’t always translate onto the page. We might not be in stuck in our own head, instead of the head of our intended character. As she put it, your character will make declarative sentences, when you made them indecisive.
“Writing is an idea to make us flesh.”
To keep herself on track and in check, she keeps a separate notepad when she runs into trouble with a character. She asks, why am I having trouble with this? Then, she writes down all kinds of answers until she can move forward.
Finally, I have to end with her comment on writing what you know. She said that many of us are guilty of never following that advice. Writing fiction is about writing the stories that are yours to tell, and some don’t belong to you. She said, “fiction has to be true on a higher level”.
The most important point to end with is her telling us to ignore self doubt because it’s not productive for anyone. Best sellers suffer from this same feeling. Let it go and keep writing. Speak your truth and you just might survive the writing world.
Tedx Talks: How to Write Like a Writer with Claudia Casperhttps://youtu.be/GqlnaK4jxRM
Follow as I post on my progress throughout the month and share the experience.