Thursday, November 18, 2010

Your News, Views & Clues - to Writing Success

I hope you're well and happy and that your writing is going well.

I bought a new camera and some editing software recently. I thought it might help with some of the film and TV projects we want to work on and pitch.

It occurred to me, too, the camera might help me connect with you better. I plan to create more video content for the Easy Way to Write - so look out for that. It's coming soon!

Magellan Books is re-launching soon in a slightly revised - but improved - format. More services. Better results.

If you're not familiar with the idea of getting your books published online - and off - go visit the Magellan Books website and look at the FAQS.

Soon we'll be offering a lot more from Magellan but the FREE packages are filling up - and may not be available for much longer. Click here to subscribe to Magellan Books.

Most of my Easy Way to Write subscribers will know by now that I send out a free newsletter every week - usually on Fridays. But I'm not sure everyone will know why.

Fact is, I have a dream...

I've always known I wanted to write. I actually started writing before I could read properly. I've kept a diary of my private - and not so private - thoughts since I was around five years old.

I don't know why but it always seemed logical and somehow important to record my insights in written form. I guess that's how most writers start out.

Later, I wrote plays, short stories, movie scripts, even novels as projects that had to be fit around the rest of my life, working to pay the rent in whichever place I found myself. Mostly London, UK, as it turned out - where I submitted manuscripts and played music to earn a crust for almost two decades.

Over that time, I read as many books about writing as I could find. I took courses, did workshops, kept writing...

I began to notice something.

Whenever I tried to find out more about the mechanics of writing from other, more successful writers, I was struck by how hard it was to get decent, accurate information and advice.

Maybe I was just being paranoid but I started to get the feeling professional writers had secrets they weren't willing to share!

I realize now that mostly this is about protecting what they have.

Working writers want you to think that writing is hard - and that the way to writing success is fraught with difficulty and hardship. Either that or they don't want you know they personally find it easy!

Simply put, most successful writers don't want any competition.

If aspiring writers - the logic goes - fall by the wayside, then so much the better.

I've noticed too that publishers, editors and agents rarely help aspiring writers for the same reason. They have enough to do with the writers they take seriously.

To encourage a writer, they seem to think, is to make a nuisance of them. Fact is, publishers want to deal with fewer writers, not more.

And then there's the way we writers let writing get to us.

We beat ourselves up about it. We almost want it to be hard - as though every word is wrenched from our souls. As though our writing can't be any good unless it pours like blood on to the page.

Which is absurd, of course.

Editing, polishing, perfecting - yes, that can be hard work. But the writing - especially the first draft - now that should be easy, automatic, I would suggest, fun even.

And that's what the Easy Way to Write is about.

It's about breaking down our self imposed barriers to writing easily - and just getting down the first draft of short stories, screenplays, novels and non-fiction books quickly - with no stress.

It's about channeling our subconscious mind into a voice that we can put down onto paper - or on the screen - as effortlessly as possible. Because, I believe, that's how you create your best work.

Not using the rational, critical mind to write. But accessing the endless store of inspiration and originality that is in your subconscious mind.

I really believe that writing is the most important, most creative, most inspiring thing we humans can do with our time. It defines and illuminates the human condition in a way that transcends every other activity.

Plus of course, writing is at the root of everything. There would be no culture, no business, no science or engineering, no inventions without writing. No books, no ideas, no movie franchises, and certainly no Internet without writers.

Writers often get criticized, marginalized and even ridiculed. And not just by the media and the general public. But by a writer's friends and relatives too. Ironically, they are often trivialized by the very people - publishers, agents and producers - that rely on writers' work to make them rich and powerful.

I've lost count of the number of times I've heard publishers and movie producers describe writers as a necessary evil, little deserving of respect.

Writers are often seen as ten a penny - and their efforts and inspiration next to worthless compared to the fortunes their work can spawn.

And this attitude can leave writers feeling bewildered, undervalued and yes, sometimes despairing.

My dream is for writers to be respected, sure - but mostly I want writers to respect themselves first.

I want writers to feel good about what they do - and understand that dedicating yourself to writing is worthy and courageous - and the right thing to do.

But mostly I believe that if you want to be a writer, then you should aspire to write well - and that there's an easy way to do it - and that becoming a good and successful and respected writer is totally within your grasp.

Keep writing!

Rob at Home
Your Success is My Concern
The Easy Way to Write


"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." Ben Bova
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The Writing Academy

Welcome to the official blog of Rob Parnell's Writing Academy, updated weekly - sometimes more often!