A Message To My Younger Writer Self

I just did a series of tweets (which needs a better collective noun — the cool kids call it a “thread,” but perhaps a “regurgitation” is a better descriptor? — about some stuff I’ve been thinking about since I did a workshop aimed at teens this past weekend at B&N’s Bethlehem store. It’s all about who you are as a writer and WHY you are a writer and WHY you write and — well, I’ll let the regurgitation speak for itself.

Here are those tweets, or you can just click through to the Storify directly.

12 comments

  • You made me laugh because you went about it the absolute opposite way to me. I had written articles and stories which had been published (and paid for.) I thought I knew how to write and I plowed straight into novel writing. I had no real intentions to get published at least it was not high on my priorities. So I wrote and wrote and wrote some more. When I finally thought about publication I had a back catalogue of books that needed serious editing and I still had not learnt much about writing. Rewrites a plenty later I am beginning to learn. But my books had soul and characters that talked to me for all their faults. But I am still working on writing better.

  • Concerning advice to the young: Now that my four offspring are all young adults, I think often about giving advice to them; ultimately, I decide not to do it. My self-understanding and human understanding and even understanding of physics comes tied up within the reflection that my mistakes made me the glass half full of wisdom that I want to share. The glass is transparent! Instead of advice, I let them see into the glass, and the mistakes I made.

  • Way to punch the soul with words, Chuck. (Spellhex does not like you today, tried to correct Chuck to Hulk. For some reason my ‘C’ is sticking all over the place. On my cell phone! WTF?)

  • And HOW did your young audience receive the benefit of your experience? –What an inter-connected world they grew up in, kinda like, you know, a world wide net, an interweb thingie. They must have thoughts.

  • That’s awesome advice. I had my Millennial “kid” read over a current MS I’m trying to finish up. She said it read more like a list of things than a story. So, yeah, sometimes you need to slooowww dowwnnn the writing process or all the scenery you pass along the way looks like a blur. No one likes to read blurry things. That only make you car sick. Plus, if I’m not going to take time to dive into this world I’m building, no one else will, either.

    (Hope you are all healed and feeling back to normal.)

  • Loved this! I agree with it too. I have never written to market. I write the books I’d like to read but which haven’t been written yet. First attempts began when I was aged in single figures and I finally nailed it at 40. So yes it takes fucking ages. What I have learned from this is that after all this time I do now love the books I write … Other people do too but they will only read them in the first place if forced at gunpoint and these weirdos seem to be very thin on the ground and difficult to find as well

    You’ve made it and yet your books are different and new and interesting, and that gives me hope. 🙂

    Keep on trucking.

    MTM

  • Useful stuff. Also, because the post appeared in my browser with the cover picture for “Damn fine story” on it, and I had a couple of deer-shaped things appear in my Deezer feed in a very peculiar conjunction this week and have been looking for the third… I pre-ordered the book.

    So you could also tell your younger self “Share good advice and it’ll pay off in ways you hadn’t suspected”.

  • Alright, Wendig, if that’s the way you’re gonna be, you leave me no choice. I’m going to Amazon to buy more of your books. No fault of mine! You brought this on yourself.

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