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The Garbage Will Do

Atlin Merrick

I have written for a living for over twenty years and so a non-writer might figure writing's easy for me most of the time.

Ha ha ha.

Ha.

I write so much crap. So much. Tons of garbage. Words that are ridiculous. Awful. Words a particularly illiterate gerbil would be ashamed of. And yet…

…that garbage gets me to the good stuff. It always feels like it shouldn't and yet it always does. Every time. Because writing nothing will never get me there but writing rubbish? Figuring out where the story doesn't go? It helps me find the exact right place it does.

Always, always, is if nothing's coming I suggest that you write something you absolutely know. You know the colour of your protagonist's hair. Write it. Write what they think about it. What they thought about it when they were little. What someone said about it five years ago. Write about the shoes on their feet or the curtains in their room. Write the 'easy' stuff you already know and sometimes your fingers keep going and sometimes you suddenly know what's on the other side of the curtain and that becomes important to the story.

But you wouldn't have known that if you hadn't just written and written.

I throw out words all the time but in doing that I always unearth the words that make my heart beat faster and my cackle fill the room. I have to write bad to write good and while sometimes I get right to the good, go right to where the story needs to be, so so so so many times what I write is garbage.

And the garbage'll do.

So I keep writing and keep writing and I get there. You will, too.

Atlin Merrick writes as Wendy C Fries and loves writing more than she loves just about anything. P.S. Yes, "the garbage'll do" is from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


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