If You Want to Write

I have no business writing. None. I do it anyway.

For the last four years, I’ve been plugging away at a novel. I’m going to tell you right now, the novel is not the length of Anna Karenina. And, it’s definitely not the next War and Peace. It’s a contemporary fantasy/horror about a guy (well, a diagnosed schizophrenic) who realizes his delusions are real. I think it’ll be out this winter. *crosses fingers*

So, what’s with the FOUR YEARS you ask? (Or, you don’t, because this blog currently has zero followers.)

For the first year–give or take a month–I worked on perfecting the opening three paragraphs. Oh my God, they were gorgeous. I think. To tell you the truth I have no idea what they were about anymore, other than having something to do with the wind blowing through yellowed lace curtains. They’re gone forever. For the next couple years, I puttered around with the first three chapters. Actually, they won’t be making it into the book either.

Despite all of these failed keystrokes, I kept writing. And, in a couple months my book will be ready to get ripped into shreds by my editor.

*waves hands to quiet overwhelming applause*

Thank you, thank you. You’re too kind.

So, why should you follow this blog, hmmm? Because, I have made every mistake you can think of. I’ve done everything THE WRONG WAY. And, I’m going to start from the very beginning and tell you what I’ve learned, so it doesn’t take you four years to get to where I am. (Not to mention getting the damn thing published.)

This is my first blog post, so I’m going to mark the occasion by telling you the FIRST thing you need to do if you want to write. Buy the book, If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. No joke. It’s the reason I’ve come so close to typing ‘The End.’ Okay, it was first published in 1938. Some of her advice is . . . astronomically outdated. Keep an open mind.

The reason this book is so important, the reason it’s still in print, and the reason I’m recommending it now is this: she’ll tell you what you need to hear. She’ll give you the courage to open your computer (or grab a pen and paper) and W-R-I-T-E. Because, “Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say.” That’s a quote from her book. And, it’s true. You need to know that. You have a unique perspective of the world we live in. You can relay it to the masses in a voice that is all your own. If you feel the need to write, she’ll tell you . . . you can.

I’ve written a LOT of garbage. So will you. And, you know what? That’s okay. I enjoy writing because generally, I’m the kind of person who says the wrong thing. (Yeah, I pretty much always say the wrong thing.) But, if you become a writer you have an opportunity to write what you think you want to say, and then fix it completely.

*rolls up sleeves*

So, get ready to play in the mud.

Read Brenda’s book.

Meet me back here same time next week, and we’ll write some complete and utter garbage, and then try to fix it.


4 thoughts on “If You Want to Write

  1. Jenny Allen is an amazing talent. I met her in a critique group because I wanted some female eyes to look at a story I was working on. She had written a fantasy – I hate fantasies – and I grudgingly returned the favor and looked at her story. Worse, it was three or four chapters in, so I was bound to be completely lost. *Dread*. But oh well, we have to do what we have to do.

    I was immediately hooked.

    A man diagnosed with schizophrenia, who has been in and out of mental institutions, discovers his delusions are real.

    Whoa, what’s that gotta be like, thinking all the crazy stuff in your head actually happened?

    From there, it turns out that this is part of an epic fantasy that she’s been writing for a few years, so it was a finished first draft, a real beginning-to-end-with-a-middle story.

    And a really good one.

    After a few chapters, I was a fan.
    After a few more, I volunteered to help get it published.
    Volunteered. As in, for no money. It’s that good.

    Don’t take my word for it. Lower you expectations and let me persuade her to put up a sample chapter or two soon. Give her your thoughts. But trust me when I tell you, this is something special.

    Enjoy the ride with me as this new author starts a blog and a twitter account and finishes a novel – something a lot of you are going to do. Follow along for the ups and down of the real life struggle to become a published author, as she tells you what she’s going through every step of the way.

    When you see where all this is in six months, you’ll wonder how she did it. So will I. but that’s the vibe I get from this thing.

    Stay tuned.

    -Dan Alatorre
    Author of numerous bestsellers including the #1 bestseller “Savvy Stories: funny things I learned from my daughter” and the upcoming sci fi thriller “The Navigators”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow!
    That was unexpected.
    Thanks for the shout out, Dan 🙂

    Until VERY recently I’ve been a closet writer . . . as in, not even my (very supportive) hubbie has read my work. Thank to Dan, who’s written MULTIPLE Amazon best-sellers, and the encouragement from a couple of other talented authors in my critique group, I’m ready to get the party started.

    I’d love to return the favor. (Even though I only have one follower right now.) You, follower, check Dan Alatorre out here: http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU, and here: https://savvystories.wordpress.com/, and wait for Poggibonsi to come out, because it’s shocking and hilarious, and all kinds of heart-warming awesome.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love your blog!!! Continue to write as much as you can expressing your feelings through life’s plan. I don’t have much to talk about, but whatever comes to my heart I write. Alot of bloggers tell me I inspire them, well all I can say it is just the God in me that I serve motivates me to write. He gets all the credit, not me. But I know for alot bloggers as yourself, will inspire someone else. Who knows? Anybody can be going through something and there you have it a written post given them great advice. Hey, all the wrongs in life will become right. 😃 Stay Blessed & Stay Encouraged!!!


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