Writing is not rocket science

Writing isn’t rocket science. It’s not a science of any kind; it’s an art.

Science seeks the perfect answer. It wants to classify and quantify, study and label. It seeks precision. It seeks order. 

Art is not precise. Art is chaos. It is imperfect, flawed, human. Writing is art.

This is where the assholes will trip you.

This is where the courses and the classes and the books and the bibles have you in their crosshairs, because they promise you a formula.

The promise you there is a science to writing.

Bullshit.

Let’s get one thing clear right now; formulas will not make you a better writer. Writing will make you a better writer.

No shortcuts, no expensive seminars. Just writing, all the time.

You can study, procrastinate, scratch your genitals and shoot up as much as you want, but if you don’t pick up a pen or hit the keys every fucking day you’re wasting your time.

“Yes but I heard acid will make me a better writer?”

Bullshit. 

“I was told studying cognitive psychology would make me a better writer.”

Bullshit.

Acid will make you unoriginal, at best. Having a deep understanding of cognitive psychology may make you a better writer in cognitive psychology, but not a better writer. Certainly not a great writer. Not on it’s own.

A better idea would be to study everything. Consume, inhale, immerse and throw yourself into every experience, every adventure. Challenge yourself. 

Soak up every book you can lay your hands on. Read biography and philosophy. Read travel diaries (and then fucking travel!!!) - read critical theory, read non-fiction. Read writers you hate, books you fear. Read articles, essays, comic books.

Visit every art gallery and every photography exhibition. Take in a play or ten. Be a tourist for the day. Be a tourist for the rest of your life. Get on the wrong bus. Get on the right bus and stay on it. Get on a plane. Go anywhere. Go everywhere.

Writing what you know will always produce the best work, but you’ve got to know something in order to write about it.

Study everything, be a student of life.

And if that doesn’t sound like your sack of spuds, then just fucking write.

Just write.

Just write.

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