If I, as a writer, a fellow in this writing community, could inspire one thing of my fellow writers, it would be that I would say to you, the writer that you are, love words. Love imagery, love ideas, explore your senses, find inspiration in those elements. Search it out when you are taking a walk, talking on the phone to your child, eating your breakfast, drinking your coffee, listening to the car radio on your way to work. Think about words and what meaning words bring to you when you see a brilliant sunset, when you hear your baby or grandbaby cry for the first time, when you finger a delicate lace, when you smell leaves burning.
Never censor yourself. This is paramount. It's important for me to tell you this, those of us who live in the "Bible Belt" where there is a church on every corner and everyone you know goes to church and considers themselves "good," better than the next guy anyway. No, never censor yourself. If your character says, "shit" (example) then you tell the world he says "shit." Have you ever, in all your life, hammered your own thumb and said, "oh my, look at this, I hammered my own thumb." Good grief, give me a break. It's all about being real, after all. We as writers must be real above all. Above all.
Give yourself freedom. Enjoy yourself in your writing. I am never going to scream at you about formatting or using the word"was" because that word is used all the time and it is published by well published authors exactly that way. "Had been" I might shriek about, simply because it doesn't resonate well in a reader's mind, but I will not tell you to not use "was." Sometimes that is the only word you can use.
Do not feel pressure to "format." No, this is a really easy deal, if you are computer savvy at all. Simply set your margins, set your paragraph spacing, choose your font, at the beginning. There is no reason to "format as you go" unless you do not understand word processing. Don't stress about it in any case. Just get the words out of your gut and onto the page, computer or long-hand. You can revise later but it is so important to just get the words out of your head/heart/gut and get them onto a paper of some sort.
Now people, fellow writers, just know that it is the story that is important. If you have a story to tell, simply tell it. Tell it from your heart or your gut. Easy enough, right? Just let it flow and let it go.
What say ye?