On Writing— Advice To A Friend…

Image Credit: Mabel Amber — Pixabay
ReadingTime: 3 minutes

I recently had a friend send me several pieces he had written. He requested feedback on his writing and tips moving forward. This is what I had to say to him regarding his work, the industry, and best practices for winning at writing.

Let me start here. I think I’ve veered away from a lot of mainstream writing (at all levels) because I don’t see the authenticity I believe is so critically valuable to writing. I think people are more concerned about writing for other people, for audience, and in the vein of other successful authors, which only leads to imitation.

I sense a definite authenticity in your writing, so congratulations! That’s hard for most people. And I’ll also say that in the span of the seven pieces you sent me I could sense a definite growth, which means much more growth is coming. Your pieces got cleaner, more focused, and more streamlined.

We writers realize a few things.
1) writing is a process and you never “make it,” you just improve for as long as you choose to work.
2) writing well is far less about vocabulary and all the glitzy stuff than it is about authenticity and genuine storytelling.
A person with something real to say will win out over a beautifully written piece with nothing to say. It’s why I think there is a unique resurrection occurring in our art community right now. People are craving “real” again. People want truth and authenticity in an age that is working hard to defy it and promote fakery.

Being true to your own voice is the premier tenet I can share with you. But remember this: (because people always try to write according to a definition). They want to fit the definition of “poetry” or “prose,” and I say fuck all that. Write whatever feels right. Know the rules of grammar but defy them when you must. Understand language but command it. Deploy what makes sense and do so in a way reminiscent of assets in battle. You wouldn’t use a queen to kill if you could use a pawn. Be simple in your execution but not simplistic. Study your craft and be a student of your craft, but do not allow it to dictate your creativity. Remember, nothing existed until someone created it, and nothing was defined until someone defined it. Learn all you can, then suspend the rules and go. What is left will be the best of you.

As for you my friend. You have a talent for calling on your truth. Do more of that. Practice, hone, read, then write, write, write. Read, write, read, write. Read and write it all. Especially the stuff you think won’t matter.

One last note for you. Whatever your voice and whatever you’re writing- ensure that you stay consistent. You can have any voice you like but voice must remain consistent as it will sustain your flow and fluidity.

Best to you!

Roman Newell 

p.s. — the best draft is a finished draft!
Just finish the damn thing!

~ Roman Newell

Graphic Composition:
by: Darlene Carroll

Graphic work can not be accomplished without the incredible resources made available to this Author and his team.
THANK YOU to the following artists for the gift of their artistry and generosity in sharing their beautiful artwork, photography, and fonts.

Background Imagery:
o. Maret Hosemann — Pixabay
o. Mabel Amber — Pixabay

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