You can either enjoy the story or write the story everyone enjoys.

Writing The Right Way...

A member of one of my writing groups became pretty upset with me this past week over something I’d said. A fellow member had asked a question about a writing technique, kind of a “should I do this or that”, and my response was:

“You have to do it the right way.”

Another member went into a fit with me, telling me that there was no “right” way to write. Obviously, I’d struck a nerve. But the truth is, he was right!

Now, of course I didn’t mean there was only one way to do it; what I’d actually meant was it needed to communicate well. But I didn’t say that, and that was a critical error on my part. So I decided to address this because it’s an important issue that needs to be mentioned.

There is no “right way” to write.

Don’t get me wrong; there are various rules to writing the English language that must be followed (although the success of Fifty Shades of Grey makes a strong counter-argument), but even some of them can be – and are – disregarded, but there is no one way to write. Every author has a different message, a different voice, a different style. Just like every director, actor, singer, anyone who is a creator. We all do things our own way at some point. Writing is no different.

As an author, especially a beginning one, you’re going to see a LOT of “this is how you SHOULD do…” Here’s the bottom line: do what’s right for YOU. If your group gives you advice, consider it, think about it, but only implement or accept what YOU feel you should. Don’t believe everything you hear or read. There is as much horrible advice to authors as there is fantastic advice. Some are out to help you, some are out to make you fail (as they failed).

No, there’s no blueprint on how to write your book. There are things that others used to write theirs, and that’s all they can share. You’re going to have to use your best judgement (even with your editors), and make the decisions you feel are best.

The best advice I can give you would be find or create a team you trust. People you believe will give you the best chance to succeed. Find a great editor, an amazing cover designer, a marketer who has a reputation, etc. If you can, use your network (if you trust it). Those are people you’re already connected with. You’re most likely going to save money that way, and you already have some idea of who they are (enough to allow them to see your posts at least). If you don’t have a network, start meeting people. Go to groups, join Facebook groups, get active. You’ll meet some excellent people, you’ll meet some not-so-excellent people. In either case, make sure you check them out. Make sure they’re legit in whatever service they provide. Then, make your decision.

This art is very personal to us. It comes from a real place, and you have to have passion to do it. You have your own style, and while there are rules and guidelines that must be followed, don’t be afraid to be yourself. As long as your story communicates, you’re writing the right way.

NOTE: Today is very special. Not only is it MLK Day, but it’s also the 5 year anniversary of iFlow Creative! Thank you all for supporting us as we continue to grow and help as many authors as we can! Without you, we could never had made it this far!

Jonathan Miller II