Aspiring writers often ask me, “What the most important piece of writing wisdom you wish you knew when you were just starting out as a writer?” My answer is never what they expect. It’s not the tried-and-true “show, don’t tell” or “kill your darlings” advice we’ve all heard time and time again. It’s something much simpler. And in my opinion, something that would have saved me years of frustration, self-doubt, and self-judgment.
My most important piece of writing wisdom:
How many times have you overcomplicated something in your life and made a mess out of it?
Yeah, me too.
This will especially happen if the thing you’re trying to approach is something you care about very much, and something in which you’re heavily invested regarding the outcome.
There are 3 most common ways writers over-complicate the process. Here’s how you can make it simple.
Years ago, in my first writing group, I met a writer who told me he was hunting his voice. I instantly pictured him stalking through a jungle of stories and characters, holding a rifle and wearing fatigues. When I told him this, he laughed and said that he meant “hunting” in a different way. He was talking about hunting like a phone system picks up calls and directs them to the correct lines. If the first line is busy, the hunting feature automatically delivers the call to a second line, and then possibly a third and so on, until someone answers that call.