1. Sit down and turn on your laptop or open your writing pad.
2. Start writing.
3. Keep writing.
4. Do it again tomorrow.
5. And then again the next day, week, month, year, decade… I’m probably not going to make the century, so I’ll stop at decade.
6. To write a good story, repeat steps 1 through 5 for as long as it takes to write something good.
Perhaps the most absurd writing advice that I ever read was, “Never write anything bad.” I can’t remember who wrote it, but they should have followed their own rule. The truth is to be a good writer, step 1 should be to check to see if you love to write. If the answer is no, good news! You’re done. You have been spared the agony (and honor) of becoming a writer.
If the answer is yes, well I’m afraid that’s the easy part. I read a post today that said, “Teaching peace is hard.” I responded and said, “Teaching peace is easy. Living in peace is hard.” In a strange way, writing is sort of the same. To love writing is easy. To live writing is hard. It is a passion that has very little external reward. To thwart popular belief, 99% of writers do not make money at writing. We do not become famous. If we’ve written long enough, we don’t even live with the illusion that we’re going to make money or become famous. We just write. (And we usually read a lot, too).
We spend an absurd amount of time creating and living in make believe worlds with make believe friends who are dealing with imagined enemies. But it’s what we do. Writers write. And those two words right there, my friends, just about says everything you need to know about how to write a story. Writers write.
So, you think you want to be a writer? Stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about what to write. Start writing. What’s that? You don’t know what to write about. Well, let me get you started. I’ll give you the first line.
“She poked her head inside the door just far enough to peak into a room where a small dog sat like a statue staring at the door without making so much as a peep or small bark.”
There you go. Happy writing.
PS: There is no “right time of the day” to be writing. Just write.