I met with Dan Decker yesterday, Director of the Las Vegas Shakespeare org, and we discussed some writing tips.
His advice on letting go was great, as he recommended that a writer must let go of his work once it is written, and not keep holding on to it as a possession. “Readers read because they want to get in your mind,” he said. A reader will see the story from their own perception, although subtext is a great way to imply things, the outcome is the result of the reader’s view. That being said, all criticism on one’s work should not be taken personally, as the critiques are not geared towards the writer but towards the written work.
He advised the following exercise, which I am sharing for all beginner or aspiring writers, for it is hard to let go of one’s work, this much I have experienced.
For the span of 5 days, Dan advised I write a conversation between two characters, any conversation, for the length of 20 to 40 minutes. Once it is done, print it out but do not save it anywhere on the PC (or Mac), in fact delete it once it is written and done. Fold the paper and place it in an envelope. Second and third day, repeat the process, making sure you commit yourself to the same time and place you began on the first day. By the fourth day, include a third character. Once again the conversations are random, whatever comes to mind, whatever character appeals on that day, at that specific time; they need not be in sequence. Do the same at the end, by printing and placing in a separate envelope. Continue with three characters on the fifth day.
By the sixth day, I was told, to take all five envelopes, and throw them away, shred them, burn them, simply get rid of them without re-reading them and without trying to save them.
That exercise would help, he said, to release the work, and the fear of letting it go.
I will be doing this exercise soon this week, once I find myself a time and place to commit to without disturbance for 20-40 minutes.
If you tried that exercise and fount it helpful, please leave a comment.