(or, how to write with actual authenticity)
Get real; speak truth.
Grow, change refine; get realer & then realer still.
Be genuine; be pure. Say things nobody else would dare.
Write from a place deeper than your heart.
Write it even if you don’t know if people will like it. Somebody will like it. And there will always be somebody who doesn’t. Be okay with that.
Don’t be afraid to offend; don’t dull your message. (No matter what you say, it will offend someone, somewhere. As long as you’re writing truthfully, just write it).
Follow the directions given to you by strange characters in early-morning dreams … and not the twenty how-to-write-the-perfect-blog/novel/book emails in your inbox every day.
Unsubscribe from how-to-write mailing lists if the emails make you feel wrong, or less-than.
Make a special folder in your inbox for the writing advice that works. Take in the advice. If you like it, file it or follow it. If you don’t, delete it.
Be emboldened, be empowered, step into your place with your head held high. Trust that you have a right to speak and be heard. Trust that someone is listening, and if they aren’t now, they definitely will be soon.
Be unapologetic when you write. Don’t waver. Don’t save or spare your best words and stories. They all have their place.
Trust in the abundance of your words. You will not run out of words. Write as much as possible.
Speak truth from your center. It’s a pure place. You can trust it.
Stop sitting in the back row with your hand half-raised, only half-hoping for the chance to speak. Speak out of turn.
Follow “the rules.” Break them, too, like brittle glass. (Who decided that books about cats are trite and cheesy? Write a goddamn book about cats if you want to. Prove them wrong.)
Burn the old English papers that heartless high school teachers graffiti’d with red ink that said “wrong wrong wrong.” (Unless you loved those papers. Then take your OWN red pen and use it to correct the corrections they wrote in your margins. This can be fun; I’ve done it many times. Cross out where the teacher wrote that you were wrong, and write something like “Mrs. Peabody, this advice is trite and overdone.”)
You are entitled to your truth. It’s a singular, guiding experience. Step into your entitlement. Write the truth, as it stands, in your heart, at this moment.
You have a right to change your mind; to self-correct; to experience a new truth.
Don’t be scared of your darker truths. They are abundant with powerful words.
Use words, misuse words, invent a word if there isn’t one to express what you mean to say.
You might make the dictionary.
You will be appreciated–tomorrow, in a year, in twenty years. There are people who get it, your message; they want to hear it. Don’t deny them your gift.
Say it like nobody has ever said it before.
p.s. Take all of this advice; take none of this advice; create your own list of rules. And again, break them as needed.