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Writing With The Door Closed - Guest Post by Kelli Beck

Today we have some great writing advice from Kelli Beck. She pulls from her own experience as well from Stephen King's ON WRITING book. It's great advice, and I highly recommend keeping these tips close to your writing heart.

Writing With The Door Closed

by Kelli Beck

In Stephen King’s On Writing he says to “write with the door closed, and rewrite with the door open.” I am partial to this method because I have a lot of fears, doubt, and apprehensions when starting out. So, before you setting out on your would-be writing career, know that there will be naysayers.  Often times these are the people closest to you who, in trying to protect you, end up hurting you by trying to snuff out the flames of desire that fuel your love of writing.  They tell you that you can’t.  Or you won’t.  Or you couldn't possibly.  It’s easy to take these hurtful words to heart and to compromise your life’s passion because of a few echoes of negative words that came from mom and dad or your best friend.

What does writing with the door closed mean?

It means just that: close the door and write.  It means stepping into your writing world and closing off all outside distractions that are going to compromise your story, not letting doubt bog you down, not allowing other people’s opinions filter in and warp the story you were born to write.  It means shutting out all outside energy and putting words to paper--your words.  It’s about letting go and trusting yourself--your subconscious--your muse.

How can this really help me?

Closing the door gives you a chance to write for the fun of it.  To write the way you wrote when you had just discovered your passion and it didn't matter how many books you sold or if you sold any at all.  Back when you didn't care what your parents thought about your writing.  It’s a solid way to get back to the reason you started writing in the first place.

How does this help my story?

Closing the door keeps your story honest.  When you have characters who are controversial it’s easy to let fear intimidate you into writing flat characters who fit into society nicely, do and say all the right things, never utter a racial slur.  You don’t want that.  Controversy is good.  Controversy highlights problems that still exist in our society whether we want them to or not.  Writing real people as ugly or as beautiful as they can be can bring about change.  At the very least you can get people thinking and in a world full of distractions and reality TV, getting people to open their eyes and think is a very good thing.

How do I do this?

You have to start trusting yourself.  Your subconscious knows a lot more than you and you’d do well to listen to what it says.  Unlike your conscious mind, your subconscious is taking in all the information around you twenty four hours a day.  There’s a wealth of information inside of your own head and you can’t let the jeers or concerns of others impede your creative journey.  When getting a story from your head to paper, you need to let go and put it all out on the table.  Only when you've finished can you open the door and allow others in to start the job of molding and shaping your story into something truly divine.

Kelli Beck


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