How My Writing Style is a Natural Challenge for Me to Overcome


I was inspired to tackle a post on HOW EVEN DO I WRITE  THE WAY I DO because a) people continuously ask that question, for some reason, and b) I saw a weekly inspirational gig started up on two blogs introducing their exercise with this question.


I hate being told what to do.  |   I feel reeeeeally bad about this, but how-to writing blogs are actually SUPER UNHELPFUL FOR ME.  I realize they must be invaluable for other writers because there are so many of these how-to-write posts being churned out by the second, but I am not one of those writers who benefits from them as a rule.  If you are also an independent writer person, take heart. You're not alone.

I've mentioned that I'm intuitive + I MEAN IT.  |  You know those people who say "outline your story!" "write down general ideas!" "brain-storm!"...?  They do that + I cue up Scarlett O'Hara's signature bitch-face.  That is NOT the way my creativity functions + as a general rule that is NOT helpful for me.  If brainstorming is nearly impossible for you too, take heart!  You're not alone in this either.

Do not add me to any of your Facebook writers groups.  |  I will become toweringly annoyed, excuse myself from the group, and probably seethingly despise you for the rest of my career.  I AM A VERY ALONE PERSON.  I don't share my writing with just anyone/everyone/every moment of the writing process.  Anyone who has seriously attempted drawing will probably appreciate the excruciating embarrassment that accompanies the early stages, and the repeated, "I'm not done yet" excuses made whenever someone happens to glance at your unfinished sketch.  LEAVE ME ALONE.  I WILL FIGURE THIS OUT MYSELF.

wash: "you are a very UP person"


PARKOUR  |  it's a popular, terrifying, probably very-bad-idea brand of cross-country exercise: "practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible." (thank you, wikipedia)  Essentially you just GO FOR IT.  It's crazy, it's scary, it's full-tilt-over-anything + everything, and it's basically how I write.

"You write like parkour," said my husband.  "You don't plan, you just start running."   THIS IS THE BEST DESCRIPTION OF MY WRITING STYLE I HAVE EVER HEARD.  It's true: with very little forethought save maybe some dim ideas of the aesthetic of the story, maybe a few concrete images, I just START RUNNING.  There are obstacles - there are obstacles in every novel's writing process - and I find a way to get over them somehow, some way, crawling - climbing - clawing - messy - muddy - bloody - breathless - somehow, I just keep going.

But it works for me!  In this crazy age of planning everything, of having every detail outlined, of suffering the pressure of feeling like you aren't a real writer because you are even beyond the bounds of writing by the seat of your pants, IT WORKS.  No, it won't work for everyone, but it works for me and I don't. care. what other people think about my writing style.


The most concrete idea I have for any + every story I begin is a sense of elevation, of something emotional + huge + electric swelling inside you, lifting you off the ground.  Like Kiki the first time she mounts her broom.  The wind beneath you, the magic catching you up, everything - including yourself - feeling bigger + bolder + more alive.  That is my guiding star for all my novels.  I'm here running hell-for-leather through I barely know what, so that someday you can read my novels and fly.

and i love it <3

image via pinterest

3 ripostes:

  1. THANK. YOU. I resonate with ALL OF THESE POINTS. I never outline, I rarely read/follow writing blogs, and I just hit the ground running whenever I start something new. So glad I'm not the only one who does this!!!


  2. A Kiki's Delivery Service reference! :) I love Studio Ghibli movies, especially From Up on Poppy Hill. Have you seen that one?

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