The Only Writing Advice I Really Ever Give

            Do you dream? Then do something with it instead of watching the dreamers dare on some square screen.
            Do you have a story to tell? Then start to tell it since it’s yours to begin with.
            The end result isn’t always the best thing. Sometimes the journey really does matter. Sometimes the journey can be everything.
            There are times like today when I’m taking a script already set in front of me. I’m working on a film novelization. It may or may not even have my name attached to it. Since it’s going to be published in Brazil, I don’t mind. It’s still a fun project. But today I had a simple scene which I made into something quite beautiful. I unlocked the door and poured out my soul onto the pages. It clicked and I looked back and thought this isn’t bad. It’s still a part of me. It’s something that spilled out and I enjoyed the process.
            Yes, this is my day job. My night job, too. And yes, I have a little experience. I’m fortunate. I’ve found ways to let it pour out of me.
            But you can let it pour out of you, too.
            You don’t start by writing the last chapter in the story. You start by sitting down and writing. You start by playing around with words. I call this making mud pies. You’re a child and you’re just playing, feeling the slime in your hands, trying to shape something with it.
            Do it.
            Then do it again.
            Then keep doing it.
            You want writing advice?
            Then keep writing.
            Then keep writing after that.
            And finish.
            Oh, and by the way, finish.
            So yeah, finish.
            And then—hey, did I suggest you FINISH?
            It’s so easy.
            Big idea.
            Grand idea.
            Should be could be oughta be would be so much better than (BIG TIME BIG NAME EVEN MIGHT BE MY NAME).
            But you gotta start.
            You gotta keep going.
            And you gotta finish.
            And then . . . well, that’s when the fun (agony) begins.
            Are you patient? Oh, you’ll learn to be. I am one impatient soul and wow how that’s come to burn me. Because I can’t do anything but
            and then
            and then a little more
            and then
            Feels incomplete, right? You need something, anything to fill in the blanks. To end the incomplete sentence. But that’s what you get. Sometimes a whole lotta nothing.
            But you have to be okay with it. Because you can still tell your story. You can still make it into something beautiful. You still can and you should.
            It’s never been easier to get a book out there. It’s never been more difficult to try to sell and market a book.
            Wild times. Take the plunge. Dream big.
            But listen—the book is not what it’s all about. I don’t believe that.
            I write cause I have to write. I still do. God willing, I always will.
            I love words. I love taking emotions and then scratching and smoothing them over onto the screen.
            My pace doesn’t sometimes allow for, well, much. I’m learning and I’m making mistakes. Yeah, I’ve got a long ways to go.
            So you have a story idea. TELL IT. Not to me but to the screen and the page.
            Be authentic. Try to do it in a unique way.
            And then finish.
            And then—well, then never give up. And congratulate yourself for finishing. Cause so many people don’t. They want to but in the end it’s too much work. It’s too long and too much of a pain for no return.
            Know the feeling in the middle of the journey. That’s when it’s worth it. When you have a writing bout and you look at the words and realize they’re worth the effort.
            And you tell yourself you’ll do it again tomorrow.
            Be persistent.
            That’s the same advice I always give. The only kind I can give. The kind I tell myself day after day. 

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