I’ve been writing for a long time. I spent many nights struggling over term papers, research papers and then finally a dissertation. After that I graduated to writing journal articles and even a textbook. It is intellectually stimulating to write non-fiction and I learned a lot but I never felt free. There are so many written and unwritten rules for non-fiction. For example when writing for certain journals I needed to follow a style such as MLA or APA. In almost all cases writing in the first person is frowned upon. Writing journal articles is like writing from within a cage where someone slaps your wrists every time you try to do something different, creative or daring.
Once I began writing fiction I experienced a new world. In fiction, apart from basic grammar, there are hardly any rules, at least for a beginner. Then I started to read advice to do this and do that. As a novice fiction writer I listened and learned and took advice from a variety of sources. I read classics and books of different styles. I read books written by distinguished authors where they expounded on how to write.
In the end I found that most of the advice is useful but there are two things that supersede all. You must show up consistently. Without the daily grind of practice a writer cannot develop the skills needed to express worthy ideas. Second, good writing comes from within. An author needs a calm and quiet mind in order for stories to emerge.
I haven’t settled on a genre yet. For the time being I am writing plausible science fiction/fantasy.
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