I’ve been telling others—and myself—that I would read War and Peace soon. About three years ago I read 100 pages before setting it back on my shelf, not because I didn’t like it but because I was still in school and it was a daunting book to tackle in the midst of all that. Last year I made one of my New Year’s resolutions to read it. I didn’t.
This year it was on my resolution list again. In January I read the introduction. Last night I picked it up again. There was a scrap of paper right before chapter one that I was using as a bookmark.
The paper read: There is no set of rules in fiction. No advice. Just write it and write it well.
While I know I must have written this down in January I can’t figure out were it’s from. I’m thinking something in the introduction of War and Peace led me to write this—probably having to do with Tolstoy writing methods, but I couldn’t find it again.
But as I sat and looked at the words I’d scribbled down, I realized how much I appreciated seeing them again.
There are a lot of books about writing out there. There are a lot of classes you can take. There’s a lot of a lot of things.
But in the end I think everyone has to find their own way with writing. There’s no advice you can follow bullet point by bullet point to get success.
No doubt that getting advice, learning the basics, and learning from others helps, but there’s no formula out there that equals success.
Sometimes what works for others doesn’t work for you and vice versa.
You have to find your own way.