Here’s what is perhaps the most important question or advice I can offer to my younger writer-self.
Question first: Why write?
Really, why? In five words or less—and write it down as many times as you can until you run out of answers.
Take that sheet of paper and sleep on it. Literally—put it under your pillow and sleep on it.
For the next week, or month, keep a pad of paper by your bed and before you are fully awake, write down all the images, words, feelings you can recall from your dreams. (A mini-recorder is even better).
Don’t read any of it for at least a week.
After about a week, go back and read your original list of answers. If one suddenly leaps out at you, grabs you in the chest, or kicks you in the head, expand on it. Write the heart and soul out of it…write it til you wring it dry, til there’s no more left to write about THAT reason for why you write.
Go back and do the same for any others that affect you that way.
Start reading your dream fragments and write some more, until you run out of everything you have to say.
Okay—now you have the makings of your very own manifesto.
I write because…
Print it out in large font and stick it everywhere (not just your fridge—it becomes wallpaper on the fridge). Paint it. Dance it. Drum it. Make a needlepoint pillow. THIS is why you live, breathe, were born, stay alive—you are a writer. This is why.
Thanks for coming along for this 5- part blog post. Stay with us for a multi-part post starting Jan 4, 2013 on how to write a FAB bio for your website, blog or author page. Let’s put an end to those boring, fake and canned bios! I’ll show you how.