I love to give gifts for Easter, so in that spirit, I have several writerly nuggets of advice gleaned from Ray Bradbury. They come mostly from an interview he did back in 2001. Here are my favorites, passed along to you via a frisky Sylvilagus audubonii (Desert Cottontail).
Get Rid of Unbelievers
Are there people in your life who won’t support your writing? I don’t mean support as in pay for your lazy butt, but people who frown on your endeavors. Fire them. Unfriend them. Unlike them. Unfollow them. They will drag your dream down.
Write with Joy
Why did you get into writing in the first place? There had to be a spark of joy there. Right? Fan that spark until it’s a flame. Make your work your love. After all, for most of us, no one’s paying for it. So if a story feels like drudgery, scrap it. Start a new one that you love.
List Ten Things you Love
Then write about them. Create stories about them. Combine your passions. I love to write and cook. No, that doesn’t mean I’ll write a cookbook. But I do have some ideas in the works for stories that involve cooking.
List Ten Things You Hate.
Kill these things but putting them on the page. It’s great therapy. I once had a difficult time with a few friends of mine, so I bashed out a screenplay. A serial killer screenplay. Then I promptly offed all the offending friends. I felt awesome afterward. Thought I’m not sure what this says about my psyche.
Type Anything, So Long as It’s English
The first thing that pops into your head. Put it down. Use word associations to break through that dreaded writer’s block. Hey, words on the page beats a blank page. Even if they don’t make a lot of sense. You might even try the Write of Die website. The screen turns red if you stop typing for too long.
Don’t Write for Everyone
It just takes one person. Someone to notice and appreciate your writing. Maybe it’s the fella who will tell you that you’re not totally nuts.
Be a Cheerleader
Writing is a lonely awful business full of neck aches, bleary eyes, and rejection letters. Sometimes people need a little encouragement. Writers need to support other writers. It’s the only way we’ll all get through this.