Most of my addictions are literary. Collecting books. Collecting ebooks. Collecting bookshelves. Collecting pens and paper. Collecting memes about books. Collecting memes about writing. (Connect with me on Pinterest, but only if you dare! I’m crazy on there!)
Unfortunately, it didn’t take much time scrolling on Pinterest in search of fun writing memes to find just as many or more memes to drive me bonkers.
Don’t Write like this!
Don’t Do that!
If you Open your book like this, then it will fail!
If you do any of these 10 things, then you are obviously an idiot!
You HAVE to have these X traits to be a writer.
Good books can only be written this way!
Bad authors do the following!
It’s enough to make a #rulebreaker fall down in a twitching heap of limbs. (It’s probably heaven to the rule makers, but I don’t know that for sure.)
Now, let’s look on the positive side of these memes. *twitch twitch* A writer grows when they find helpful tips and learn new techniques. Nobody falls out of the stork’s beak as a complete, perfect author. (Even the top notch writers that other writers try to be have their weaknesses-even after writing a kazillion books!)
But there’s a huge difference between being aware of trends and falling victim to the whole “DON’T DO THIS OR YOU WILL FAIL!” mentality floating around the internet.
So I’m going to shift from the WRITER ME to the READER ME for a moment here.
Writers, I don’t give a rip.
Let me be specific. I do NOT care about the following:
- Whether you are a pantser or a plotter.
- Whether or not you start with a first chapter or a prologue.
- How many characters you have, and whether or not they are flat or round.
- Whether or not all of your characters have full backstories and physiological backgrounds.
- Exactly how many words are in your book.
- Whether or not you have some sort of cliche in your book.
- (Surprise!) I do not care whether you are a #rulebreaker or a rulemaker.
- Whether or not you fall neatly into a genre./Whether or not you obey all your genre’s rules.
- How fast or slow you write./What you write with./What your methods are./When you write./If you have specific traits./
- And, how dare me, I don’t care if you are “award winning” or have a special sticker or have made it to the top whatever of whatever list.
(the list could go on, and I guess it is technically more than 10 anyway…)
Now, if I’m being honest, can I tell if you are a plotter or pantser? Yeppers. Does it make or break the book? Nopers.
Do you know what I do care about?
I want to read a good story.
I want to be taken to a new place.
I want to adventure alongside the characters in your book.
I want to feel like I’m actually there, and feel like I am besties with the characters.
Do I care about how you do it? No, I do not.
I’m not saying all of this to tell another writer that they shouldn’t learn and explore and refine writing skills.
I’m not saying it to discourage a writer who DOES need memes and lists and to-dos to function.
I’m saying it to encourage the writers out there who may feel swamped by it all.
I’m saying it because, as a reader, I want writers to enjoy their craft. I want to read books and poetry and plays and short stories that have been crafted by YOU. If the “dont’s” help you, then I’m glad they exist for you. But if the “don’ts” are holding you back, then please, PLEASE, toss them in the trash, or at least file them away in the back of the cabinet.
Do your readers a favor and be strong enough to be you.
Writers, tell me a story.
Learn and explore.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
I know what you are thinking. Um, Aems, I hate to break it to you, but you are one woman, and you are NOT the Empress of the Literary Universe.
*sniffle sniffle* I’m not?
But this is actually exactly what I’m referring to. If my post and my rules and my ideas and my thoughts don’t work for you, then toss me in the trash! Have the courage to do what you need to do to write your stories.
Don’t be afraid to write in the Land of Don’t.
Write Your Way.