How 4 simple words from Angela Hoy at WritersWeekly cured 10 years of writer’s block.
I just want to write.
That’s how I concluded a recent email to an editor, asking how she did it and how she did it so well. Her answer was simple and contained only 4 words: Write like you talk
Now I’ll have to admit, after reading her reply, I immediately went into Hulk Smash mode. And no it wasn’t anger that unleashed the green. It was the perfect concoction of frustration, stupidity and embarrassment. Let me explain…
You see, more than ten years ago, I thought about getting into this writing thing, but never knew where or how to start. Sure, I’ve written for publication before but let’s be honest… Letters to the Editor don’t really count as professional writing do they? So, I did what any normal person would do. I got informed.
I read blogs, bought books, attended workshops, listened to podcasts and attended webinars. I joined a writing group. Membership has its privileges but, unfortunately, not many answers.
I could be a professional writer in less than two weeks if I downloaded the latest 134-page report, according to the Internet gurus. Yup, I’ve turned pro 140 plus times if my math is right. Excellent. I’m a writer now, but still don’t know how to write.
So I continued along my quest of gathering. Surely there had to be someone out there who could just tell me how to write. I Twittered and Facebooked and YouTubed until I found a mentor. Having just forked out the equivalent of a month’s rent, I was positive this was THE guy to give me my answer. After all. He is a pro. Why shouldn’t I trust him? He’ll tell me the secret. I’m sure of it.
His first message to me was: “Just f*cking write.”
Thanks, Yoda. (Does your mom know you’re wearing her bathrobe?)
Apparently, this guy writes a lot. I bought one of his books and I was not impressed. I told him he could keep the money for the mentorship. He needed it more than I did.
No matter what I did, read or listened to, nothing told me how to write. I was no better off than I was 10 years ago…only now, I suffer from information constipation. I needed help. I needed something. I needed a laxative.
The laxative came from those four simple words: Write like you talk
It wasn’t fancy but I FINALLY got my answer.
That answer got me writing again.
That answer got me published.
That answer got me paid.
Who gave me that advice? Angela Hoy at WritersWeeky.com. With that simple advice, she also gave me this writing assignment, a firm deadline, and paid me $40 on acceptance. It worked!
Now, I can finally just write.
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Michael Wilts was born on Canada’s west coast in a small logging town called Chemainus, B.C. When the mills shut down and the town was on the verge of collapse, the town re-created its identity through the arts. As a career blue collar worker in oil rich Alberta, Canada, Michael is re-creating his identity as a writer. He had his first article published at age nine and has since been published in The Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun and most recently, Last Word on Sports. You can reach Michael via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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