The most common questions I get from fans (other than “when is Pretties coming out?”) are those about writing. Where do you get ideas? How do I get started? How do I keep going? How do you get published?
Of course, it’s not surprising that a lot of people who like to read also want to write. And fortunately, I love talking about the craft and business of writing. But I do find myself answering the same questions and giving the same advice again and again. So I’ve decided to start to put my stock motivational speeches together into a series of posts call, oddly, “Writing Advice.”
To give these posts visual interest and the appropriate authori-tie, I wasted many long minutes designing this exceedingly lame logo:
So let us begin at the end:
There will always be a part of your brain that wants to give up when characters aren’t behaving, when you don’t know where to go next, when the inspiration has faded. Donâ€™t give the start-something-else part of your brain any extra leverage, or it will win every time. And once it starts winning . . . Well, let’s just say that the not-finishing habit is a hard one to break.
It’s easy to think up logical reasons to stop writing a story. You say to yourself: â€œThis sucks. Why waste any more time? I’ll start something new that inspires me!â€
Yeah, well, the inspiration of a new story is exciting. But if you wind up not finishing ninety percent of what you start, guess what happens. After a few years youâ€™ll have written 100 beginnings, 40 middles, and only 10 endings. Which means youâ€™ll be great at writing beginnings, only so-so at middles, and you’ll suck at endings. Which means you will almost certainly keep faltering between the middle and the end of every story, which means youâ€™ll keep giving up and not finishing . . . Rinse, repeat.
And thatâ€™s a hole you donâ€™t want to fall into. So finish, even if you know this story isn’t going to win you the Nobel Prizeâ€”itâ€™s good practice to type THE END.