Imagine If Yoda Were Your Writing Coach

Imagine If Yoda Were Your Writing Coach

Writers live a​ solitary life. That’s a​ fact. You spend hours planning,​ writing,​ rewriting and editing your masterpieces,​ only to​ have them rejected by every agent or​ publisher you have the​ courage to​ show them to.

So wouldn’t it​ be fabulous to​ have an​ on-call writing mentor,​ a​ wise and experienced coach to​ guide you through your writer’s journey?

Well,​ you have! Here,​ captured in​ the​ timeless wisdom of​ one of​ the​ greatest mentors in​ storytelling history,​ the​ great Jedi Master,​ Yoda,​ are 10 simple tips guaranteed to​ transform you into a​ Jedi Knight of​ the​ Write!

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”

When commencing anything new,​ you need to​ arrive at​ the​ front door with an​ open mind and your judgment suspended. Most importantly,​ leave any old training and ingrained ideas about the​ topic you are learning,​ well and truly outside that door. Writing is​ absolutely no exception to​ this rule. I have found it​ much easier to​ teach complete novices,​ and those with open minds,​ than trained journalists or​ graduates of​ writing courses,​ especially when it​ comes to​ the​ basics of​ freeing the​ imagination for fiction. For those of​ you who think you need to​ write it​ perfectly the​ first time – unlearn that! For those of​ you who think you write with the​ logical,​ left side of​ your brain – unlearn that! For those of​ you who think that only a​ gifted few can write well – unlearn that! And for those of​ you who think you can only write when touched by the​ muses – unlearn that! if​ you can think and speak,​ then you can write. Period. No other prerequisites required.

“(What’s in​ there?) Only what you take with you.”

The world of​ fiction is​ the​ world of​ your experiences mixed with your imagination. as​ you venture into this world to​ retrieve the​ images,​ feelings,​ impressions and ideas in​ the​ way that is​ truly unique to​ you,​ you do indeed learn that the​ only things you can encounter there are the​ things that you take in​ with you. No one else on​ the​ planet,​ or​ in​ history for that matter,​ is​ where you are now,​ has been through what you’ve been through or​ has your own unique view of​ the​ world. Honour these views and experiences. Allow them to​ flow freely through your pen or​ fingers. it​ is​ only when you write truly that others will relate to​ your words. Readers can spot a​ fake a​ mile away.

“Try not,​ do or​ do not,​ there is​ no try.”

This may come as​ a​ surprise but you must never try to​ write well,​ or​ you will never write well. Don’t try,​ just do. in​ other words,​ capture first thoughts,​ keep the​ pen moving,​ let yourself write complete garbage. Just do it. Just write. it​ is​ only by sitting down every day and writing that one becomes a​ writer.

“A Jedi’s strength flows from the​ Force.”

Substitute the​ “Force” with the​ “Unconscious” or​ the​ “Imagination”,​ and you’ll have a​ better idea of​ what this Yoda-ism means. as​ a​ writer,​ your strength flows from your own unconscious,​ as​ this is​ where all your collective experiences,​ impressions and memories are buried,​ just waiting to​ be exhumed as​ challenges for your characters. the​ ability to​ exercise these creative muscles,​ keeping them strong and toned,​ is​ the​ fuel that will power your stories.

“There is​ no why.”

One of​ the​ greatest leaps you can make in​ your writing,​ and indeed in​ your life,​ is​ the​ ability to​ stop asking why! Do not seek the​ reason for anything you write. Do not seek the​ reason behind the​ images you see,​ the​ voices you hear,​ the​ impressions you get,​ the​ dialogue you write. it​ just is. And it​ is,​ because it’s you,​ and only you,​ who can write that at​ this time. as​ soon as​ you stop to​ ask why,​ you drop into an​ analytical frame of​ mind,​ and genius is​ lost. Creativity is​ stifled. Imagination cannot function. Let the​ critics ask why. That’s their job. Your only answer to​ the​ question of​ why? need be “because it​ was there.”

“You must complete the​ training.”

When it​ comes to​ writing,​ or​ any other art form,​ talent or​ genius actually count for very little. Writing is​ a​ craft,​ and like any other craft,​ the​ writer needs to​ work at​ it​ constantly,​ honing his skills and refining his technique. Study your craft,​ learn from many teachers,​ add to​ your skill set,​ it​ will make you a​ much better writer. And it​ was Michael Jordan who said,​ “the harder I trained,​ the​ luckier I became”. Keep studying. Always be in​ training. as​ a​ writer you are like an​ athlete. Footballer players don’t hang out at​ home all week,​ or​ spend their days surfing or​ playing golf. They train,​ they practice,​ they work out at​ the​ gym,​ and it​ is​ this that gives them the​ strength,​ skill and finesse to​ win games on​ the​ field. You are no different.

“Only different in​ your mind.”

Life is​ lived in​ the​ human mind. the​ advances in​ quantum physics have proven that the​ universe arose from thought,​ and that we​ can influence anything in​ our lives simply by the​ thought we​ put to​ it. the​ same goes for your writing. if​ you think you can,​ or​ you think you can’t,​ you’re right. if​ you think you can sell more books that JK Rowling,​ then you’ve got a​ much greater chance than someone who thinks they can’t. Anything is​ achievable for you as​ a​ writer,​ as​ long as​ you put the​ thought to​ it​ that you can and will succeed.

“Control. You must learn control.”

One of​ the​ most frustrating elements of​ being a​ writer is​ finding the​ time to​ write. if​ you hold down a​ full time job,​ run a​ business,​ or​ have a​ family to​ care for and an​ active social life,​ it​ can be tempting to​ say “I’ll write that novel next year/when the​ kids are grown/when I retire” etc. This is​ where self control is​ imperative to​ the​ success of​ your creative endeavours. You only need to​ write one scene a​ day,​ which can take as​ little as​ 20 minutes,​ and in​ a​ year you will have 365 scenes,​ which will be the​ best part of​ the​ first draft of​ a​ novel. Don’t wait. Learn to​ control your inner voice that says,​ “You can’t do it”,​ or​ “Don’t be so selfish”,​ or​ “The bathroom is​ dirty,​ go clean it”. Sit down and write every day. It’s the​ greatest gift you can give yourself.

“Nothing more will I teach you today.”

Take your writing lessons,​ and your writing sessions,​ in​ bite-sized pieces. When you are learning new writing techniques,​ take the​ lessons at​ a​ pace that keeps you stimulated,​ but not overwhelmed. Taking on​ too many new ideas or​ concepts at​ once can tend to​ muddy the​ creative and productive waters. it​ is​ best to​ learn a​ new technique,​ then practice it​ and integrate it​ before moving onto the​ next one.

“Pass on​ what you have learned.”

As you travel the​ writing path,​ take the​ time to​ teach others that which you have learned. Even if​ it’s only a​ simple word of​ encouragement or​ a​ tip that helped you when you were just starting out,​ keeping the​ flow of​ information alive is​ the​ greatest gift you can give to​ others. Pass on​ what you have learned.

So,​ as​ you can see,​ anytime you need him,​ Yoda will be there to​ help you through. And remember,​ the​ only failure is​ stopping,​ so keep on​ writing!

Imagine If Yoda Were Your Writing Coach

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