Pep talk

A pep talk for what? Who knows. Is it even a pep talk? You be the judge! (spoiler: It's not really).

The secret to writing is to type and to see where that takes you. I think my technique involves the least planning, but definitely makes the worst novel, unelss you're into the rambling train of thought style of novel, which I'm pretty sure nobody is.

The next thing, after you've rambled for 200 pages, is to look over it and make sure everything is in working order. No split infinitives, apostrophes all in their homes, commas thrown everywhere to make people, reading this very, confused.

Once that's done, the next step is to throw it out. What you have just created is a monstrosity, a beast which should not exist. Keep it and analyse it if you wish to know how your brain ticks; but I'm pretty sure you don't want to. In that bin. Along with the others.

Congratulations, you have just wasted a long time typing out 200 pages. Anyone can do it, because everyone can think. It's all about word association: pouring your thoughts onto the page, without really thinking about it. For instance, whenever the Queen is mentioned, I have this mental image of a demonic being ruling our country while flogging cheese graters into doing her dirty work. Will I tell you why? I may at some time, but that time is not now.

It is, as I often call it, the freight train of thought. It carries ideas and images across your imagination and then stops to see what it's managed to drag along with it. Sometimes you'll find monsters: your darkest fears and worst experiences. Recount them too. You'll be better for it, trust me. More often than not you'll find a giraffe with a elephant's head, because somehow they always end up there. Recount them too.

If you're anything like me you'll probably be bogged down with regrets. Recount them too. And if you're me, you'll have lots of maths symbols tied up in the wheels. Get rid of them, their a hazard, but you don't have to recount them unless you want to confuse your reader.

Then never publish it. Never read it beyond proof reading. Once you have thrown it away never think of it again. Never even think about thinking about it again.

The proof reading phase is merely there to improve your grammar. Do not think about the words on the page. What you  have just written is your soul, and you don't want anyone, especially yourself, to know about that. Look at the colons, the commas, the semi-colons and the apostrophes. Make sure you have full stops and capitals. Make sure the words are spelled correctly. But don't read them.

Once you have made this monstrosity, throw it out. Either print it and throw it behind you into a waste paper bin (very satisfying, but expensive), or just put it in the recylcing bin of your computer (far less satisfying). If you feel you have to look at what you just wrote, then burn the paper. It is vital that the words on the page are never read by anyone.

Words have power; and with great power comes great anxiety about whether you wrote the right thing. Trust me, you did. All those regrets and pains you had aching on your back like a pile of very heavy boulders? They're gone. They're in the bin, in the fire. Never think of them again. It's hard, especially when people mention them , but those things that happened are in the fire. They're in the past.

Things in the past don't matter, because the present is an ever-changing place. People say "It must be fate" when they mean that it was a change in the past that caused the present. In reality, it was a change in the present that caused the present.

I'm sure you're unfamiliar with Bohr, but he stated that when we look at a particle, we change its properties to fit the present. According to him, the Big Bang only happened because we are here to observe it.

If you can't think of what to do, or how to do it; just do it. As one of my many expressions says: "Just wing it, it usually works." And if it doesn't then I'll wing the winging, and keep on winging until I get to a point where I can say "I'm satisfied with my performance." This is a very bad philosophy to live by, so don't do it.

This feels like I've been rambling for a very long time, but in actual fact, it hasn't been that long. I've been doing exactly what it is I've been telling you to. Just don't post it on the Internet, then anyone could see.

I'm off to just wing it. It usually works.

The End

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