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July 14, 2020



The thing is, almost everyone assumes that they already can:
1. write
2. take photos

And therefore one does not need to learn these things. But almost nothing is a static endeavor - you either learn more or you don't. Some people have a natural boost at specific things from innate talent/genetics or from their environment, but literally *everyone* can get better at doing well at things consistently.

But also: first drafts exist for a reason. Get the thing on paper (well, digital, probably) and then wallop it into shape once you have a thing. :-)


KC - well, I did work on the book today for twenty minutes. Nowhere near long enough, but perhaps I will work up to it


Twenty minutes a day will get you there! But also, yes, you can work up from there, potentially.


KC - well that lasted a week. 20 minutes a week?


20 minutes a week would get you there more slowly, I grant! But you can see how it goes. Sometimes writing is a "if you force yourself to pound things out for 20 minutes, then you want to keep going" thing somewhat like not-inherently-horrible exercise or cleaning?

But yes. It's complicated, and in part it's complicated by basically every author doing things somewhat differently; some people write near-finished drafts; some outline and then fill in; some write Terrible First Drafts and then revise them once they exist; and who knows what will work best for you, but hey, at least there are options you can try! :-)


KC - my outline has a big gap that says “something surprising and remarkable happens.” I want to know what that is before I write it, but perhaps writing it without knowing will get me there.


Oh. Uh. Hm.

Do you have someone you can talk it out with over Skype or otherwise "in person"-ish? Like, "here is where we are before the commercial break, and here is where we are after it, what things could get us from here to there?" - the zanier, the better, because people who only suggest reasonable things are unlikely to suggest that actual solution if you want something surprising and remarkable.

(these people are sometimes hard to identify and somewhat rare out in the real world, so there is that. But if you have one, brainstorming out loud can be shockingly productive.)


KC - I anticipate that after I start writing something will occur to me. I did write for forty minutes yesterday, but I just edited something I had. I can’t say I’m stuck yet, since I haven’t really tried. I just anticipate this will be hard.

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