Monday, April 5, 2010


We all write . . . differently!

Some outline.

Some don't.

Some wing it.

Some don't.

Some write snappy dialogue.

Some don't.

Some write huge passages of narration with very little dialogue interspersed between narrative passages - check out my post later in the week about narration.

Some don't.

We're not clones of each other. We're individuals - sorry Traci, generalizing again, you know how I am - and, thus, we do thing in our own individual ways.

We do things in the way that works best for us (differently) as individuals.

There are literally hundreds, possibly, thousands of blogs out there about writing.

This is one of them.

This was one of them. No, people, hold on to your knickers, I'm not closing down the blog. I mean, how in the heck would Robyn give me a hard time on a daily basis if I shut down my blog. Oh, wait, she's a friend on Facebook. Dang my generous nature. Ha!

The thing is, I can't teach any one how to write the most brilliant novel ever. I can point you in the direction of blog after blog that will offer great advice . . . that works for that particular blogger, but not necessarily me, and not necessarily you!

What I can do, is quit generalizing (Traci will be so happy) and start personalizing. I can let you know how I write. Done. Finito. The End.

Okay, I can also share other things I've learned about the writing process, and all that jazz. I mean, knowledge is power, and the more knowledge we have (about writing, etc), then the more power we have. Ooops, there I go generalizing again. It's a 12 Step program to de-generalize!

The important things to remember about writing . . .
  • do it (writing) the best way you know how
  • be adaptable, willing to learn, willing to change, to try something different, to experiment
  • know your strengths
  • know your weaknesses
  • learn from your strengths/weaknesses
  • know your limits!!!!
  • understand that what works for Lady Glamis just might not work for you
  • understand that what works for Scott Bailey just might not work for you
  • understand that what works for me just might not work for you

If you take every bit of advice out there, try to instill it into your writing routine, well . . . BAM! . . . you just might explode.

All the wonderful, awe inspiring advice in the world is great . . . as long as you take the bits and pieces that work best for you, and apply them to your capabilities.

I've tried outlining, truly I have, but it just doesn't work for me.

I know what works for me with my writing!

I can learn how others write, but, hey, some of their stuff just doesn't work for me!

So, over the course of the next few days, weeks, months, years, you may or may not notice a slight shift in the writing direction of this blog. I'm going to blog about writing, again and again and again, but the writing will focus more on my process and what works for me! I'll also be doing posts inspired by the following magazines: Writer's Digest and The Writer. These are great sources of information and I find myself mentally typing new posts as I read these magazines about writing. Again, they'll be a shift based on my personal experience, rather than an overall generalization.



Elana Johnson said...

And that's just the kind of blog I want to read. About someone who writes and how they do things. Maybe I can try it and see if it works for me. :)

Jen said...

I look forward to the new change!!! Change is good especially if it's for yourself! I'm along for the ride!!

Davin Malasarn said...

Scott, wonderful wonderful post! I think I've been coming to the same realization over the last few weeks. I end up just talking about my own process and my own problems with the hopes that other people will find it useful, but in the end everyone does it there own way, and that way can work. I love this post!

KM said...

Good advice :)

Mary McDonald said...

That's pretty much what I try to do. I might start out with a general topic, but I can only write what I know, and so I tend to refer to examples in my own writing. I don't know how other people write or what they're thinking when they write it.

Good post! I don't read blogs to get a how-to, but more to explore different ways and if I'm lucky, some of them will work for me.

Lady Glamis said...

Sounds great, Scott! I look forward to what works for you. I find it interesting that you put me and Scott in your little list there. That's frightening for some reason...

I like your second point best, to be adaptable. That is the single most important thing for me as a writer - learning to change and flow with what my WIP needs. It's a difficult thing to learn, especially for someone as stubborn as I am.

Tess said...

It's good to think about. We are all individuals and our truth and journey seldom aligns with others.

looking forward to learning more about you and your process,Scott.

Claire Dawn said...

Completely agree. I'm not published and I'm not an expert on writing. But I think there is still some merit in someone who's out there plugging away in the trenches, telling their story.

I mean obviously there is. You don't know all 130 of your followers do you?

I'm not an outliner. I'm not a get up and early and write-er. I'm not a write at the same time every day for the same amount of time-er.

What I do may or may not be the most efficient way for me to reach my goal. But the one thing that is certain is: it's the way I'm GOING to reach it!

Scott said...

Elana – dang, you’re quick! The post was barely up before you made your comment!

Jen – yes, change is good. I have no clue how the change will go, but I’m always open for new experiences.

Davin – thanks. There are some fantastic instructional blogs out there . . . I just really don’t want to be one of them. There’s a sense of ‘pressure’ when blogging if the idea is to teach. I don’t want to teach. I thought the change in format would maybe make me blog a bit more. Maybe! Also, it’s always nice to discover how other writers write.

KM – thanks.

Mary – I think it’s about taking ‘it’ all in, absorbing/using what we can, and discarding the rest. I have learned so much by following all the blogs I follow, and reading many I don’t follow. In the end, I use what I use, and don’t use what I don’t use.

Lady Glamis – I think I put you and Scott in there because I’m a little bit, maybe a lot, in awe of you two. I mean, you outline like a fiend! Yes, you do, don’t try to deny it. And Scott, well he does great narrative passages that I envy . . . and wish I could do. So, my reference to you two wasn’t a bad reference, but a good reference. If we can’t adapt, we’re never going to grow. We’ll just sort of stagnate and disappear.

Tess – good point. But . . . as different as we all are, we do share some similarities. Who knew that you and I would know (or maybe Google for good measure) the words to ‘Afternoon Delight’ by the Starland Vocal Band? As writers, aspiring or otherwise, we are all struggling toward the goal of publication, but . . . we’re all doing it in our own unique way, but with some similarities with the other writers out there.

Claire Dawn – there is definitely merit in people telling their stories. I can relate to so much I’ve read in the blogsphere over the past year or so. I’ve learned so much, gained some blogging friends, and am having a great time following the blogs I follow. And, like you . . . I don’t outline, write at the same time every day, write the same amount every day, or write every day. I just write when I write, and don’t when I don’t. It works for me.

VR Barkowski said...

Sounds fantastic! Plus, I'm looking forward to the post on narration. I think when and how much narration is even more subjective then when and how much description - so much depends on voice and style.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Excellent post and excellent points! Yes, yes, yes!! :-)

Bethany said...

I think that this is very true... I'm glad that you devoted a post to this subject because you made some great points. Everybody's different(thank god) and that's what makes writers so unique. :)
Thanks for the great post. It made me feel better about my writing style. :P