The Diary of an Unpublished Author #2

Dear Diary,

So you think you’d like to be a writer?

So you have an idea. Except you don’t want to use that word because it sounds like such a vague and immeasurable of a thing when yours is so concrete, so permanent, so immutable. So you have a fire lit inside of you which could by no means be extinguished as the flames grow ever higher and threaten to permeate into reality.

And what are you going to do about it, then? I’ll tell you what. You’re going to write. Every day. You’re going to deliberate for eons over a single world, headache over a plot device, bleed over a timeline. You’re going to let the letters flow from your fingertips like there’s nothing in the world more natural, an extension of your very self. You’re going to write every day, no matter how little, no matter how terrible, because something is always better than nothing and something is what you want to become.

You’re also going to rewrite. Sorry about that. You’re going to hate everything you’ve ever written and then you’re going to love it again because you wrote drunk and edited sober and redrafting is a bitch.

What’s more, you’re going to read. Anything and everything you can. The classics, the moderns, the ancients, the news. Your own words. Because everything you read and everything you comprehend will only fan the flames of the fire, will add to the bubbling boiling pot of your mind, and without conscious thought, without knowledge of it taking place, you will begin to regurgitate this information. You will find it seeping into your words; a notion, a turn of phrase. And soon you will see just what you are, and what literature is all about: a tangled web of influences and inspiration. A veritable symphony of everything that has ever been written, and everything that ever will.

And there you are, in the corner, at the back. Strumming along steadily, and hoping, just hoping, that you don’t play out of tune.

Bravo, my little writer, Bravo.

Yours,

Beth

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