Writerly occupational hazard: Premature thought

Today I present two gnomic items of writerly advice. Subsequent posts will expand upon them.

These are aimed first of all at myself, who knows better but, it seems, keeps forgetting. In fact, in drafting this second of a series of futuristic novels, the sequel to Syn, I’ve been committing these most basic of errors.


1. Don’t think. Write.

2. Don’t wait till you know what your story is before you start writing it.

3. Try to be like professional personal statement writers.

In fact, the story often doesn’t yet exist, unless you are doing the custom writing service, of course. It’s not as though it’s somewhere there in your head, simply awaiting discovery. Not only isn’t it there, it isn’t anywhere else either. At least not till you evoke it though a give-and-take conversation with the page.

So sitting around thinking, essentially waiting for the thing to emerge full-blown before committing pen to paper, makes an excellent way of never writing anything at all.


To find out what this really means, stay tuned for some follow-up posts:

The Conversation with the Page

The Muse Wears Black Leather

“Stigmurgical Story” (upcoming)


3 thoughts on “Writerly occupational hazard: Premature thought”

  1. Yeah, I’ve been working on my memoirs and have trouble putting any words down. Some asshole said it’s because I’m only 28 years old. Joke’s on him. Hope he feels honored that his execution is scheduled for the first anniversary of my father’s death.

  2. May I suggest that this is merely avoidance behavior? Sharpening pencils, looking for that old photo of Sally from 1999, executing pains in the butt–after a point, this kind of activity becomes as counterproductive as premature thought. The point is, you have to keep putting words on the page and responding to these buggers till you get the ‘conversation’ going. … More on that to follow in subsequent posts.

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