Focusing on Story Instead of words

The other day, I was watching the newest video at vlogbrothers YouTube channel and came across something astonishing. At one point Hank said:

If you’re super focused on words you’ll have more words.

If you’re super focused on story, you’ll have more story.

Hank Green

That was like a slap in my sad face. For years! I’ll write it again, FOR YEARS, I’ve been so focused on words. And yes, I’ve been writing almost every day; anything between 500 and 2000 words. And, yes, I trashed a lot of dumb shit but I didn’t trash a single story.


Because I was mainly focused on words and I didn’t have a story.

I would get up, brew myself a cup of coffee and sit in front of a magic screen with keys attached to it’s bottom, which is usually called a laptop, and I would type like crazy, sometimes good stuff, mostly shit, but I would type and type.

Sometimes I would publish articles, the other time I would work on my novel.

Yes, I had the basic idea of the story – I guy finds his girlfriend’s head in his closet. But, that wasn’t enough.

Yes, I sort of knew who did it, and why, and how, but I didn’t have the line of the story. I haven’t sorted out in which way these events happened and how to unfold them to the reader.

I din’t have a story. I had a story idea. And, when you have a story idea it doesn’t mean that you’re ready to write. It simply means that you have a story idea.

Thank you Hank, you opened my eyes.