Thursday, September 3, 2009

There Is No Magic Bullet

What? Are you kidding? What do you mean there's no magic bullet?

Sorry my friends, there isn't.

I've been to countless classes and seminars, taken copious notes, listened intently and hoped that this person would tell me or show me that one elusive thing I was missing or hadn't yet grasped that would make my writing stellar and oh-so saleable. That this "rule" or that formula would be THE MAGIC BULLET.

Any of you been there? Do you know the feeling? Come on, fess up, I just did.

What I've gleaned is that every seminar, book, lecture, CD or DVD can offer you nuggets...nuggets that can help you hone your craft or shine a bit of light on a dark corner of a story problem.

THE only magic bullet I know is to write. Write through the puke, the crises of confidence about your skill level and the sinking plots in your manuscript or screenplay.

Finish that WIP, give it to good friends who will be honest yet kind in their critique, then rewrite, rewrite and maybe again.

Then stop.

And start a new story. Move on and upward. Your skills will get better, you'll find those nuggets, you'll learn by writing, then learn again by rewriting as you find ways to tweak the most out of every scene, every bit of dialogue, and layer in a bit more subtext.

So by all means, take courses, listen and watch and mine for those nuggets, but please don't think this person or that formula or this concept will make it magically happen.

You will make it happen by continuing to write every day and by believing in yourself, not a magic bullet.

Write on,



Donnell said...

LA, I am printing this article out and story it by my computer. What absolutely fantastic advice, and so true. Everything we do toward our careers are nuggets. Well said!!! xxoo :)

Donnell said...

Er, that's storing. Note to self. After a long night editing, drink coffee and wear glasses before responding to awesome posts!

Natalie Hatch said...

I feel I just want to say "Amen Sistah!" Pushing through that painful period of self doubt is hard, but it gets easier every time.

Audra Harders said...

LA! Great kick in the ol' inspirational node!! Yes, everything we do builds on itself and forwards our career.

Thanks for the reminder!