Finish. Your. Shit.

March 31, 2012

I had a Word.docx called ‘Advice for Aspiring Writers’. It was eleven pages and still growing. Whenever I used to have a lucid thought about the process of writing, I would jot it down. See, most interviews and questionnaires end with that dreaded question: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Yes. And I was going to post that whole eleven-page document here so I could stop adding to the damned thing. I’ve been handing out my nuggets of advice like Communion wafers —Go Forth, Aspiring Writer and Thou Shalt Beget a Book—but the truth is, most of this stuff you’ll figure out yourself by writing. Reading about how to write instead of actually doing it is equivalent to making a Greenpeace donation and saying you’re an activist.

I dislike the term ‘aspiring’—it implies that you aren’t a writer until you have external validation. If you write, you’re a writer. You may be an unpublished writer, but that’s a different label and just as restrictive as ‘aspiring’.

Anyway, I’ve deleted that document. It was vanilla. It was boring, trotted-out trash and it didn’t nail a single truth about writing. My process can’t be summed up in eleven pages of one-liners and even if I could give advice, it would be arrogant to assume that I knew any more about pinning the tail on the muse than I did five years ago.

I wanted to write something inspiring, honest, irreverent and real that would give other writers a little shove in the back. That’s all we can do for each other; in the end you have to run your own race. I wanted to stand on my soapbox, wave a pint and swear a lot. Then I remembered that someone else has already done that, and far more eloquently than I ever could without being carted off in a paddy-wagon.

So, put your hands together for Mr Chuck Wendig. He know his shit. Now. Finish. Yours.

25 Tips For Aspiring Writers.

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