Sunday, March 6, 2011

Open letter to myself

Why haven’t I been able to find myself as a writer? Why does it seem like everyone has what it takes to be a beautiful writer but me? Am I not an artist of the word? And how pretentious does that sound: An artist of the word. Try “writer,” Tannis. Keep it simple, avoid adjectives, no passive voice; trust the reader’s intelligence. And practice: practice writing, practice patience, practice varying your sentence structure. 

Read like a writer: it might not be fun, but it must be done. Every word matters – weight each equally. You are used to pounding out a story for a newspaper without considering the artfulness of your craft. You are only starting out as a creative, artistic writer and you must be patient with yourself. If this is what you really want to do, expect to face hurdles and force yourself to learn from them as you overcome them. 

Write, write, write. Don’t distract yourself from writing: tell others’ stories with creativity, artfulness, accuracy, and attention to detail. Above all – and as Richard has told you time and time again – forgive yourself; give yourself permission to fail, for it is only then you will succeed. For the record, the definition of success is this: the privilege of being able to continue doing what you love, and that is to write.