Why Your Fiction Is Terrible

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Take a look at that quote above. Pay attention. Study it. Does it offend you?

If you haven’t been living, it’s expected that you would take offense. I mean, Thoreau is totally off-base, and by the way, who is this jerk challenging me. Writing is solitary. I don’t need to have “lived,” whatever that may mean. I don’t need people around me. I don’t need fun. I don’t need to enjoy life.

Do you realize the stupidity in that train of thinking?

Go out and live life. You can’t write ANYTHING until you’ve lived. Whether you’re a sixteen year old in high school or a sixty year old retiree, ask yourself – have I lived? If the answer is no, then stop wasting your time writing.

So what is living? Living means seizing every day as if it were your last. We all are different. Your way of living life to the fullest is unlikely to be the same way as mine, but whatever you think life is, you better live it. Amass your experiences, seek the joy out in life. Sure, there will be pain too, but oh, it’s so much better to enjoy life than to be an animated corpse.

And, of course, once you’ve lived, then you can write. All that would be left would be the simple stuff: learning the technical aspects of craft; how to publish your stuff; how to network with other writers and others in the field; and how to promote your creative writing. That’s the easy part. That comes afterwards.

Until then, get away from the computer and put away your pen. You have some fun to do.

 

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