Sunday, July 1, 2012

Find Your Magic

 By Leigh Stevenson

We choose to write in a way that speaks to us. Fantasy, history, memoir, essay, fiction, non-fiction, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs. It doesn’t matter. Whatever the form, what matters to most writers is that our work also speaks to others.

What is that magic thing that makes someone pick up one book and reject another? Follow one Blog and not another? Topic? Genre? Cover Art? Author? You could go crazy trying to figure it out. One thing I have learned after years of research is that opinions on the subject are just that. Everyone has one and everyone has advice. If you choose, you can read every blog, book and article on the topic and still be utterly confused.

What I have learned for sure is there are no rules. Aside from a good grammar check and edit you can pretty much throw out every other have-to. For every supposed “rule” there is someone who has broken that rule and been published.

You could just stop. It would be a lot easier. Or you could decide to get on with it and make your own rules as you go. Sure it’s hard. You can immobilize yourself with the immensity of the challenge and trying to figure out the “tricks of the trade”. Being a writer is hard enough without trying to second guess what will sell in the marketplace.

Along with the joy of writing, I have found that a large part of the creative process is a lot like running into a wall again and again. Then there’s the slogging through the quicksand of rewrites and editing and more rewrites. Not that much fun. We persevere, even so.

The best I know is to check your grammar, find a good, honest, knowledgeable writing partner and/or writing group and try to enjoy the process.

And then, once in a great while, there is a moment when everything comes together. The words are right and the sentences flow and you say to yourself, “I can’t believe I actually wrote that”. You find your own magic, not someone else’s version of it.

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