Tell It As Best You Can

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” – Neil Gaiman (source)

This is number eight of Gaiman’s eight rules of writing. It is my favorite because of how well it applies to life. It reminds me of Donald Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. If you look at life like a play, a story, a script, etc. you can identify characters, plot points, devices, themes and a whole bunch of other literary stuff. 

Using this like a tool, it’s quite possible to “write” a good life. If I couldn’t buy into any other philosophy, I think this is the one that I’d be sold on every time. Be honest, be straightforward, tell the story the way it should be told. Think about how the story will be told later to help you decide what actions to take. Be earnest, and don’t worry about making mistakes.

Weed out the junk that just distracts from the real story being told. 

You can find a way to get away with just about anything you want. That might sound like a license to just do anything, but it’s not. It’s a challenge to do what tells the best story. Think about the people through history who did whatever they wanted, and are looked at as fools or worse. Take that into consideration when you use your freedom to live your story.

See yourself as the storyteller; then become a master storyteller.

Advertisements

See, Take, Inspire

20120705-105922.jpg

How I learned to write was basically my love for writing and reading, and I would try to emulate the writers that I loved, and I tell people that. I can’t sit down and explain to someone how to write a sentence, but I tell people to read a lot of good sentences until they’re basically in your bones and you can create one yourself. We talk craft and I’ll point things out, like “isn’t this an incredible image?” or, “look at these great choices the writer made.”

– Cheryl Strayed

It’s great and all to tell people to be original, to think things up for themselves, and not to copy or plagiarize. But we learn from what we see. We develop from what we know. We are inspired to create original works be reading/seeing/watching/copying other’s original works. Everything is inspired, and everything can be inspiring.

Take something that is good, and make it better. If you thought of it by yourself, and no one else is doing it, rock on.