Reading a number of writers’ blogs today I find there are an awful lot of people who’ve fallen into the trap of thinking and writing about “writing” instead of tackling the beast itself. I’ve been there. You know my suffering!
I took numerous writing classes where the tutor tried hard to seperate me from my voice. I read several “How To” books explaining how to write for children and found the writers’ own children’s books were not exactly top drawer, which is probably why they had to supplement their income with “How To” books in the first place.
Finally, I decided never to take another writing class and I locked away all those well-meant books of expert advice. The responsibility of living up to all that expertise had killed my creative spirit dead.
Within days of making this discovery I started writing short stories again…No more excuses of why I couldn’t possibly complete chapter 14 of my book. No delaying tactics, no following tutor’s writing rules, no hunting for the dictionnairy in the laundry basket. Finally, no critic was looking over my shoulder whispering “you’re just no good!”
Wonderful writing, free flow, the story tells itself.
I close my eyes and I see my little protagonists clearly. Never mind adjectives, never mind characterisation. What are the children doing? Are they having fun? Are they scared, are they alone, who would they like to have as a friend?
The real Willow is dancing through the kitchen in front of my mind’s eye. Her smile could melt an iceberg. She’s talking to me. I listen. She tells the story now. I just operate the keyboard.