Thursday, July 20, 2017 | By: The Write Way Cafe

Ignore the Fear and Write by Jami Gray

The Write Way Café welcomes Jami Gray,  an award-winning author with a reminder to send all voices but your characters' to go play in the other room when you sit down to write. 

We all face it, that frightening moment when our flying fingers pause mid-motion over the keyboard. Wait, was that the wrong tense? Did I say that before? Is that a realistic reaction from my character? Oh pink elephants, that’s too predictable!

Suddenly we’re frozen as the barrage of multiple lines of advice rain down upon us, making the thought of typing another word, hell, another letter, an unforgivable sin.

Writers are wonderfully supportive, so much so that we tend to share advice as freely as we’d share a cup of coffee. (Well, some of us might pause before offering our motivating elixir, but…) As receivers of that glorious advice, we drink it up until we’re running to the restroom like we’re training for the Olympic sprints. Yep, even me.

With the amount of learning a writer undergoes, sometimes their internal storyteller will be unintentionally drowned out by the older fable slingers. As we begin to hone our craft we hear all the rules regarding voice, tense, showing versus telling, character arc, story arc, and the list goes on until it has us backed into a dark, distressing corner where we question every word we write.

How do we escape?


Simple, uh? But it’s true. Write through your fear. Who cares if the tense is wrong? It can be fixed later. Worried your plot is predictable? Guess what, if you keep writing, you might get smacked upside the head by your character who has a better idea for the situation. If you’ve hit on a phrase you just can’t stop using, use it. It’s why we edit afterwards. Thing is, you can’t edit what isn’t written. So write.

Don’t let the fear of worry stifle your story. The wonderful thing about stories, they’re ours to tell.  Each of us uses a unique voice to share, and some of our voices don’t fall neatly into “typical” roles. Advice is a beautiful thing, but writing is an art, not a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. Art, at its core, is a form of individualized expression, so go forth and express your story. Delve deep, take on those difficult subjects and characters. Don’t stop because your main hero is going to do the unforgiveable, or your plot is getting twisty, don’t cheat yourself or your readers from what’s in your heart. Share it, write it down, let it roam free.

When the story’s freshly etched, then you can go back and polish that ragged corner, or trim down those rough sections, but that’s okay, because the story that lit your heart on fire LIVES, in all its courageous glory.

Here’s the hardest thing to accept, and I won’t lie to you, it’s a doozy. Your readers will either love it or hate it, but either way, they’ll feel something because of what you shared. In the end, that’s what a writer should take encouragement from—their readers’ reactions. Positive or negative, if you managed to evoke an emotional response from your readers, you’re doing it right.

So, listen to the helpful pieces of advice from those who’ve gone before you, but remember to let all those voices go play in the other room when you sit down to write. When it’s you, a screen and a keyboard, the only voices allowed to rise should be your characters.

Write on!

Jami Gray is the coffee addicted, music junkie, Queen Nerd of her personal Geek Squad, Alpha Mom of the Fur Minxes, and award winning author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams, and her latest Romantic Suspense series, Fate’s Vultures. She writes to soothe the voices in her head.

If you want to hunt her down, she can be found lurking around the following cyber locations:

Website       Facebook       Twitter       Goodreads       Google+       Amazon Author Page


Lynn Crandall said...

Wonderful post!

HiDee said...

This is a great post, and timely. I needed the reminder to push through and keep on writing. Thank you for being with us today, Jami!

Jami Gray said...

Thank you both! I'm so glad it resonates.

Mark R Hunter said...

Good advice!