Here’s the only rule that a writer needs to remember:
The beginning is the hardest. Things always get easier from that point.
Well, actually, nope. There are several more that are equally important. Don’t use too many adverbs. Show, don’t tell. Make your opening line a hook. Don’t end with the main character realising it was all a dream. And I’ve only recently come to appreciate the rule about taking a story through to completion, as opposed to just starting it – even if it isn’t overflowing with literary merit.
But everything has a starting point, and it’s fair to say that the mere act of starting something gives one a sense of accomplishment and propels one towards doing more of it and feeling more of that “I did it” high. (Plus, is there any such thing as ‘completing’ a blog? Apart from simply letting it peter out, of course.)
This blog is a story. It’s a story in progress, of how I’m evolving as a writer. Like all stories it needed a beginning, and the beginning of this blog was in the name – Once There Was A Silent Town. I’d toyed with several potential names, but this one struck my fancy. Why would a town be silent, and is it still that way? Perhaps I’ll write a story about someday. Or perhaps you will. Feel free to use it as a writing prompt.
But then the beginning is only the apparent starting point of any story. This blog is officially about my new life as a literary fiction writer, and my journey to this starting point has been a long and tough one. It’s a separate story that I’ll talk about in future posts, perhaps – once I’ve made sufficient progress on this journey to view the previous one impartially. And my relationship with blogging deserves a post of its own. I’ll give you the short version right away, though – so far, I’ve sucked at maintaining blogs.
So what makes this blog different?
Well, for one thing I’ve really come to see the importance of consistency. I’m the most erratic person in the universe, and one day of frenzied writing can be followed by several days of equal parts self-loathing and cooking video binges. Which is all very well, but having something you show up for every single day is crucial, I’ve seen, for long-term sanity. Fitness is something I’ve been showing up for since April 2, and it’s helped. Immensely. I’d like there to be more constants like that.
For another, this isn’t a story to which I know the ending. It’s an ongoing journey, and there are miles and miles yet to cover. Writing about a past experience tends to drag after a while – one’s much better off covering it in an essay or a story or even a book. An ongoing experience, though, is ideal for blogging about because there’s something new to report every day. A productivity technique that worked out (or didn’t), thoughts on a certain book or author, life tweaks I’m making to be healthier and so on. There are tons of writers like me out there who’ve read tips from already-famous writers ad nauseum, but what about the struggle of getting to a state of fame – or even something close to it? What about the countless steps forward and double-steps backward that go into the making of a writer? That’s something I’m discovering for myself, and I’d like to share the insights I get with people who might benefit from them.
With regard to this blog, I’ve done a bit of prep and will be winging most of the rest. I’ve chosen the WordPress theme (free, of course) that matches my aesthetic sensibilities as closely as possible so that I needn’t bother with tweaking fonts or colours. I’ve dreamed up a bunch of categories and slotted them under a cool drop-down menu, and I’m almost certain I’ll forget what the criteria for each category are within a few weeks. The frequency of posts can range from three times a week to once in three weeks, depending on how well I can actually live up to the consistency jazz. What I can promise, however, are honest insights and personally tested tips on how to lead the best writer’s life you can – couched, hopefully, in posts you’ll enjoy reading.
I wish I knew how to write better conclusions. (If I ever do figure it out, there’ll be a post about it stat.) For now, welcome to my blog, and happy writing! 🙂