When I was a high school senior we were instructed to write people we admire. The goal was to see if we could be persuasive enough to get a response. I wrote to Ray Bradbury and Tom Clancy and received responses from both.
From Ray Bradbury “If I were to advise writers my advice would go simply like this: Begin writing when you are 12 if possible. Fall in love with the arts,for from them you will learn how to touch, see, smell, know the world. Educate your hands by drawing, educate your ear by listening, educate your nose by running against the wind, keep your eyes wide and your mouth shut. Write every day and every day of your life until it becomes such an immense love you can’t help yourself”
This advice has served me my entire life. Now, I am taking time to focus on another piece of advice from him: “When I speak on writing I only try to rev people up, to turn them back to their own self-starter. I know that if they can produce in quantity, eventually they will produce quality. Without quantity there can be no quality. Quantity is a way of getting rid of chaff, to reduce down to the seed.”
I have worried too much about niches, styles, focus, etc and it has done nothing but hamper me. Recently I took a huge leap of faith (with support of my amazing tribe) and began to GM (game master or run) our Iron Kingdoms tabletop RPG (role playing game). Writing for them has been amazing.
The biggest boost I received was when one of them told me that I tell a great story so running a game will come naturally once I understand the GM mechanics; which are different than player mechanics. It has greatly helped my creativity and confidence.
I am once again following my dream of being a writer by writing as often as I can and sharing those stories. This experience is giving me the confidence I need to take the time to apply to my passion and let the story share itself with me.
The more that I write and share, the more whole I feel. When I do not write the anxiety and depression take hold and uncertainty consumes me. Writing makes me a better person. It feels true to myself and as though I am doing what I was meant to do. This makes me a better person all the way around. Which is fantastic for my family, as well as myself.
“The more one writes the more honest one becomes. The more one vomits forth,the truer his style and, of course, by style we always mean Basic Truth, don’t we? Style is not an ornament, but the heart and soul of a man revealed. It is what he is, isn’t it? Not what he pretends to be,but the true man standing naked, alone, and somewhat proud of finally shucking ornaments and finding his own skin.” Ray Bradbury