Something I Teach All The Time…
The great artist Bob Eggleton put up a post on Facebook tonight. A quote from Andre Malraux the French novelist (among other things he did.).
Malraux said, “An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please.”
I am constantly talking with young writers who are doing a number of things that I try to convince them are not critical. And often deadly.
- 1… Writing to market. (What is supposedly hot in sales, what you have already done, what others tell you to write.)
- 2… Write for beta readers or first readers or workshops. Just pretty silly when you stop and think about it.
- 3… Write for a mythical critic or gatekeeper in your mind. Often this takes the shape of a family member or an editor at a magazine.
- 4… Writing for perfection. Never possible, but your writing can’t be fun, otherwise it can’t be perfect.
All of those also bring in a ton of critical voice and will quickly (in a few short years) make your writing work, make it not fun, and something to avoid and eventually you just stop writing, even though you will talk about getting back to it any day now.
The secret of fiction writing is to have fun with it, do the best job you can, write only what you want to write, and then release and do it again.
Stop trying to please everything and everyone and just go sit down and play at writing fiction. You will be stunned at how good your writing gets if you keep learning at the same time.