The Best Writing Tip I've Ever Received

Yuliia Vereta

© Copyright 2019 by Yuliia Vereta

Dedicated to David G.
Photo of a hand writing.

Every time staring at the blank page on the screen or playing with a pencil with my fingers, I think of it. I think of the best writing tip Iíve received in my life. It came one usual summer day, from my best friend. Or as my ex-husband could possibly say Ďtemporary best friendí as he was certain that women make friends with only those people they work or study with and forget them the next day after they quit the job or graduate the university. That is true sometimes, I suppose, but definitely not in that case when your best friend is a 42-year-old bald father of four, former soldier, holder of degree in religious studies, once widowed and once divorced, who still has courage to laugh his lungs out over absurd jokes and stories from the old army days. The one, who is trying his best to gush onto paper with fiction about forgotten Jewish villages, unknown Nepali beliefs, great Roman architecture, which he has never actually seen and Jesus wandering among all of them struggling to find the power to save all of us for the sake of good, being the biggest sacrifice ever made.

If there is anyone in the world worth listening to, itís definitely him. One of those who is mostly silent, not because there is nothing to say, but seldom those who hear while listening. He is the one I view as the person who made me stay on the road, inspiring me at the times when I needed most and making me smile when the world was trying to chew me up and spit me out. Yeah, that is definitely right guy, the short man from the star-striped country, who always buys KFC sets, but never eats French fries, who let our coworker live with him for half a year without paying bills and whose most beautiful daughter works as a firefighter. That guy.

We were working together for almost a year at that time when I already became desperate as a writer going through the crisis. Being so far from homes, me from my developing country and him from his favorite one, every day after lunch we went outside for a smoke and a talk over a can of Coke or a red-bean ice-cream cone. Summer days were too hot to become better after ice-cream or drinks, but conversations helped the time to fly faster and made us talk about things that matter.

In between the conversations on why our supervisor doesnít want to accept the fact that Australia is a separate continent and why such a big country as China does not have pigeons, we shared ideas on latest writing competitions and recent publishing opportunities as well as discussing all of those inspirational articles from best-selling writers on why and how you should write. Another huge bulk of time we were dreaming and telling each other about the things we were going to do after our China-period finishes. Usually those dreams involved plenty of good beefsteaks, trips to somewhere in Indonesia, a lot of nice sleep and the whole time of the world spent with our families that we got used to see only through the screen during the video calls for the past half year. And then, we started talking on writing again, all over and over, until the lunch break was finished.
Probably, everyone who at least once sat in front of the typewriter or a computer attempting to make their confused thoughts in a crowned sentence or bright idea, and failed, was tempted to start reading those articles on how to write that became the major topic in our conversations.

Some of those articles advise you to stop waiting as it makes you a waiter and not a writer, while others tell you to sit and wait for your muse to come if you have to and to start doing something else if it does not come for a long time. Or listen to your heart and your inner voice until needed thoughts burst out of you, despite of anything else, smashing everything on their way, coming out from your heart, your guts, your mind like a hurricane, making you lose your mind and your job and your family if they stand in the way. All of those hurricanes never reached me and were never born where I could feel them, moreover that sun burning inside of me started slowly fading away after the tons of rejection letters that were burying it under their heaviness. Those motivational articles and quotes never worked for me.

The best advice on writing Iíve ever received came from him. That same man who was beaten by life, betrayed by his wife, cheated by his country and who was still capable of creating beautiful things, - the one, who was saved by writing.
The best writing tip Iíve ever got was very laconic. It was shining among the dozens of how-to-write speeches of those who call themselves writers, of those whose creations are gathering dust on the shelves of the bookstores where people never want to buy them.

The best advice on writing Iíve ever received went out to one word only: Write. Despite being judged, mocked, unread, unpublished, criticized, rejected, - Write. It does not matter if you have to lose your job, your home, your friends, your money, your time or your youth for the sake of it, if you feel like writing - Write. If you do not feel like writing, but you have something in your mind, in your soul, in your heart or your guts that is burning you from inside and is attempting to make itself free just you do not know yet how - Write. Even if you feel like your common sense and the whole time of the universe is slipping between your fingers when you bleed onto paper - Write. Write and never stop. Write and do not stop if it stops you from everything else. Write and do not stop until it stops in you.

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