I’ve been writing novels in my leisure time for years. Haven’t finished any yet but here are some things I’ve learned along the way…
It takes two things to be a writer:
The Magician + The High Priestess = Inspiration + Faith
It doesn’t matter how many good ideas you have, if you don’t believe in yourself as a writer you’ll never finish or publish. For a long time I didn’t feel what I wrote was valid because no one had given it an official stamp of approval. It’s only in recent years that I’ve learnt you have to give that stamp yourself.
The Emperor: It takes a lot of work to finish a piece of writing. Incredible self-discipline. You have to stick at it even when it’s not fun.
Eight Of Pentacles: Good writing does not flow straight from the pen or onto your computer screen. You have to draft then re-draft then re-draft again then re-draft some more and keep re-drafting beyond the levels of human endurance to end up with a product you can be proud of. (Ed: Clearly I don’t edit to that extreme on this blog but note, I do take the time to edit!)
The Moon: Inspiration comes and goes like the tides of the moon. Sometimes you are full to the brim with the stuff, sometimes there’s nothing in your tank. Nada. During those latter periods you can sit at your desk for hours and not write a thing. It’s like the difference between shaving with wet skin and shaving with dry. In one the motion is smooth and efficient, in the other it’s painful and ineffective.
The Star: Like other writers I find it best to leave something unfinished, some story thread dangling, to help me get started in my next writing session. It’s like a pool I can dip straight into.
Five Of Swords: No matter how much heart and soul you pour into your work there will always be those who don’t like it. That’s life. Get used to it.
Ten Of Wands: Writing’s a lot more work than you ever expected. In good writing every sentence, every word, requires thought.
Four Of Swords: That’s why I personally can only write when I’m well rested.
Knight Of Cups: I guess I keep going because for me writing has a a noble purpose. It’s an attempt to get our thoughts straight on so many levels. To put into words our deepest hopes and fears and desires and dreams. What’s not to like about that?
Are you a writer? How do you experience the act of writing?