10 Tips for Becoming a Writer

Hi Friends,

Today I want to give you some tips about becoming a better writer. You peeked. You already know I have only one tip to give you. But boy, is it a REALLY GOOD one. Try it.

10 Tips, here we go:

  1. Look and Listen.
  2. Look and Listen.
  3. Look and Listen.
  4. Look and Listen.
  5. Look and Listen.
  6. Look and Listen.
  7. Look and Listen.
  8. Look and Listen.
  9. Look and Listen.
  10. Listen and Look.

Okay, so I’ve succumbed to slight exaggeration by condensing all the worlds’ advice into three words. But if you want to be a writer, the first and single most important thing you have to do, is LOOK AND LISTEN. Everything else comes afterwards. If you don’t do that – you will not have a book. Seriously.

We are surrounded by sights and sounds. Sounds and sights of nature, of the city, of strangers who pass us by, of people we know, of those closest to us. And we have a million pictures and voices inside us, talking to us all the time. They all tell us stories. Many, many stories.

Most of the time we run through life, without ever stopping to listen to them. Have you ever been on a bus, on a plain, or at the dentist, and you turned to the person next to you and you let them pour their life story on you? Nine times out of ten, they told you something that could be developed into a great story. But no, you had to go and bury your face in your iphone… And everywhere else, there was a person that touched you somehow, even for a minute, and she had a great story, too.

So what do we listen to, or look at (same thing)? One voice. Just one. The one in our head that either tells is that we’re right, or tells us we’re wrong. That’s it. For our entire lives. You were absolutely right to yell at your mother. She crossed the line with her comment about your dating a meth head. You are thirty, for god’s sake.

The voice in your head sounds incredibly convincing, and it helps you go through life, or it does the opposite, if it’s a negative, crippling one.  But what it also does, is shut you off from the rest of your world. From hearing anything else. People will talk to you and you will be busy phrasing your response to what they said, or busy judging them, or just plain tuned out.

So if you listen to the voice in your head and nothing else, your head will be empty. It will feel full, but that will be a total lie.

And if you learn how to silence that voice, even for some of the time, you will find that you hear infinite other voices. A rainbow of ideas, a richness of stories, each more interesting than the other.

If you let yourself, you will become a humongous receptacle of ideas.

 

So you’ve collected an abundance of information and ideas and sights and sounds. What do you do next? You push it through your personal sieve, of course! And that sieve is unique. You are the only one with a sieve like that. And that’s why you will create a different story from the same material that everyone else absorbed. In goes A voice, A picture, out comes YOUR story. The trick is to let it come in then go out the other side, and keep your sieve clean.

What do I mean by that?

Most of us, most of the time, do not open our filters, our sieves, all the way. As the stuff comes in, we apply (Yeah, again,I know, it’s a pain in the ass!) judgment, preconceived ideas, morals, crushing self-doubt, a pre-determined goal, and a slew of other barriers that distort and infect our material. And once that happens, it’s almost impossible to write. Either we write conceited, dishonest shit, or we become frozen and numb.

What we experience as ’empty’, which is actually clogged up, is what is commonly called ‘writer’s block’. It’s not that you have no ideas; it’s that you block them from pouring freely.

Listen people, writers’ block is what we do to ourselves when we let ourselves get in the way of the abundance of voices and sights that flows freely in the world! I promise you that that’s the case. Once you open a clean sieves and let stuff in, your hands will pour out a story. And you will have a draft of a story. All flowing freely through you. Simply using the universal, inexhaustible resource of all, the resource of ideas. Using the gift.

It’s that simple.

So go out, walk around, don’t decide what to focus on. Empty your mind from all its voices, and just look and listen.

 

I would love to hear from you, so write to me! Please!

Lots of Love,

Callie

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