Writing from Life: Manifesto

  1. No one out there cares. You care. Do it. Make it remarkable. Share.
  2. Memories are biased, warped, false. So what. Find the chunks that tell the story you want to hear. Make
    yourself laugh, cry, groan with the lessons learned.
  3. Don't take yourself so seriously that you can't have a laugh at your own expense.
  4. Introduce your fantasy memory self to the factual world. Make chronologies and timetables. Create a correct family tree. Don't be sloppy. Don't kid yourself. Don't lie.
  5. Find your mentors and informants but let yourself be surprised who they turn out to be. Your genius-helper may reside close to home.
  6. Writing happens in your fingers. Write, even if you are just copying out someone else's work to get their rhythms into your fingers. 1000 hours in a year is a good start. Craft counts.
  7. Bombard your project from different angles. Find new ways to get unstuck. Change your first-person story to third-person.  Throw out your ending. Throw out your beginning.
  8. Don't be boring.
  9. Learn how to make a book. Fonts, layouts, chapters... Look at books. This is your baby. Do it all. Don't outsource your creation.
  10. You are raising a creature from the mud puddles and boggy swamps of your mind, and your heart, and your guts. You have to clean it up to make it a gift.
  11. Start with a premise, but discover your theme along the way.
  12. Learn by dancing with your ignorance.

Originally from 29 Mar 2012