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Isabel Yap (on semi-hiatus) @visyap
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Thread: a list of things I constantly have to remind myself so that I can keep on writing
Write what makes your heart beat faster. The thing that makes you go ‘awww yeah!’ when you think about it. The thing that feels, weirdly, delicious to pursue
Anytime you start feeling like you ‘should x’ or ‘should y,’ stop and think if that’s a move that YOU really want to do instead of a move you’re being pressured to do. It’s your career, and the only ‘should’ is what will make you genuinely happy
There is no ‘right answer’ for what you should read, and some nebulous pre-ordained ‘canon’ is not it. Read what you want to read. Read whatever enables you as a writer even if it feels like it’s ‘not in your genre’
It’s so easy to feel lonely in doing this work. Make friends, not connections. Have conversations instead of ‘networking.’ It’s fun to talk about industry but remember you can talk about craft and story too and some people want to chat about that just as much as you do
You will not regret spending time attempting to write. No matter what the outcome is...if you genuinely try, even for just a few minutes, you can and will be proud of yourself.
You don’t have to like the same thing everyone likes. You don’t have to consume the same media everyone consumes.
It’s hard to be genuine on the internet. It’s hard to be genuine when you want to be liked.

It’s worth it to try, even when it’s difficult.
Rest is a beautiful thing. Don’t fear a break, even a long one. The work will be there even after you’ve taken some time for yourself
You’re going to be harder on yourself than anyone else. Try to temper that with some kindness because there’s already going to be a lot rejection/heartache/pressure from outside sources; try not to add to it
Publication runs on bizarre cycles, what’s going on externally =/= what’s going on internally. Someone might be announcing good news at a time when they’re feeling like crap. Be mindful of this and don’t assume!
Sometimes you just don’t know enough yet. It’s okay, your subconscious is working on it. The important thing is that you try
Reach out to the authors you really admire and let them know it. Sincerity shows. (And sometimes you just mind end up becoming their friend, which is definitely mind-blowing)
In terms of getting published...nothing is more important than Writing Good Words, but being nice and professional goes a long way.
Have a life outside of writing. Make friends that are not writing friends. Pursue things with your time that aren’t chasing down words. Remember that writing isn’t all of you. Don’t feel guilty for being a full person with non-writing needs and joys
Listen and learn from others but always remember your process is your own. Be mindful of that in shaping your work habits; you’ll resist less if you write based on what works for you
Your heart and your gut are usually good compasses. This goes for pursuing story ideas, deciding which book to buy in a bookstore, making friends, choosing the next project, and even imagining your desired career
DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT. You have something to offer with your words; you wouldn’t be compelled to write if that wasn’t true, because it is so so easy to give up. Keep going.
There is no book or workshop or piece of advice that will make you magically better. There are no shortcuts or secret passageways. There’s only sticking with it, but that’s cool because it’s something you can do without any prerequisites
Lastly: have fun, self. Don’t let anyone or anything strip away the fun of writing. Take the work seriously but remember: a big aspect of it IS that play, of creating something personally satisfying. Life’s too short; if you’re gonna spend a huge chunk of it writing, enjoy it!
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