Where, and How, to Find Your Story: Ignore the Experts

Every single “expert” on writing has been feeding you a lie.

Maybe they are just ignorant, though I imagine they are just evil. To share the secret of living is to give away a piece of your own, they think.

And so they tell you, “just write every day.”


Ask a business owner how to write.

When you find the perfect potential client, do you spend each second courting them? I’ve asked.


Why not?

Because they’re going to disappear, and I better have 17 more perfect potential clients lined up behind them.

They all disappear? I ask, ‘cause I’m an instigator.

This is when I get the “are you seriously that dense” look.

Of course not, they say, but most will. And time is finite. I court and I woo and I am always looking for the next love.

“Your wife must love that approach.”

And then they show me the door, but their lesson has been heard.

My life as a writer will end. I must keep the pipeline full. There have to be stories in every moment.

And this is how you do it.

Don’t write.

When they tell you to write even if you have no inspiration, tell them to pound sand. Do you know what you write when you are not inspired? Uninspired writing. When was the last time you read something that wasn’t inspired? Well, when was the last time you read for more than 30 seconds something that wasn’t uninspired?

So, find inspiration. Find conflict, and love, and love lost, and pain, and pain salved. Find a laughter that drops you to your knees, and the phone call that turns that mirth into horror.

Get out.

Look at someone and imagine that they are your lover. Your father. Your teacher or son. And imagine that the worst possible thing happens to them at them moment. Wherever they stand, whatever they are wearing. However they walk, or eat or dream. And then imagine that as you go to hold their hand, the worst possible thing happens to you.

And then write that down.

And then forget it.

And then rinse and repeat. Every day. Every moment. Every trip to church, to the bar, to your children’s school. Catastrophe at each corner.

You are looking for your next love.

Now you can write.

Which horror do you start with? The one that tells you to.

And then add in the lover, or father, or teacher or son from another moment to that same tale, and watch your inspiration grow.

Watch your potential clients breed and give birth to new prospects. Court and woo and look and forget. And then remember.

Okay. Now you can “just write.”

This post is contributed as Guest post by  C. Mijares Devane