Tag Archives: Writing

Persistence Pays Off

The hardest part of the writing process is waiting. You, as the writer, put everything into the article and you send it into the void of the internet. You hope that the article is accepted and then published.

A few years ago, I wrote an article for a website that regularly publishes my work. After a few weeks, when I had not heard from that publication, it became clear that they were not interested in publishing this particular. As the years have passed, I just gave up and moved on to other work.

I am not going to name that particular publication, but this is not and will not be the first time that I or any writer has been ghosted after submitting work for publication.

Cut to a few weeks ago. I was following up on new articles that I had submitted to this same website. On a whim, I included the old article that I had previously given up on. Last week, they published that article.

It was the highlight of my day.

Whatever you are going through, stay hungry and no matter what, don’t give up. You will make it, I promise you. Just keep at it. I know that it’s not easy, but persistence always pays off.

1 Comment

Filed under Life, Writing

Small Steps

A wise person once said that easy reading is hard writing.

I couldn’t agree more.

In the fall of 2016, I started writing a novel. Unfortunately, I am not as far along as I thought I would be. Most novels start at about 80,000 words. As of this week, I am up about 21,000 words.

Life, a full-time job, my freelancing work and the easy access to social media often pushes my novel down to the list of priorities.

But this past week, I made a choice. I made a choice to make small steps to complete my novel. Every night I spent a few minutes working on the novel via the notes I received from my writing group.

It’s not easy and often requires making editing choices that I would prefer not to make, however, the choices are necessary.

I know that the first draft will not be done for quite a while. However, I am confident that the small steps I am making will one day lead to a complete novel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Just Write

The amount of writing advice one could look up on the internet is endless. Regardless of their level of success, every writer has at least once piece of writing advice to share with their fellow writers.

But without a doubt, the most important piece of advice is just to write.

Is the first draft going to absolutely perfect? Perhaps in a fantasy world, but not in the real world. In her book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, (which I highly recommend), Anne Lamott has a chapter called Shitty First Drafts for a reason.  It’s easier to make edits to a shitty first draft than to a page with no text at all.

Over this past holiday season, I made myself a goal. By the time clock struck midnight on December 31st, I would have a word count of 20,000 words for my novel. It wasn’t easy, especially with the distractions that can take one away from writing, but I did it.

My point that writers have to write.We have to turn on the metaphorical faucet and do the work. It’s not easy, but there are few satisfactions that can compare to knowing that you have achieved a piece of writing that your proud of (even if it is in shitty first draft form).

 

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Writing

You Know Your A Writer When….

You know you’re a writer when your usual mode of writing is not available and the writing wind is knocked out of your sails.

Some of my regular readers may have noticed that I have been largely silent over the past two weeks.

I wish I could say that it was because I was occupied with my other writing projects, but I was not.

My computer died and I had no choice, but to get a new one. It was time, but I didn’t expect to need it so soon.

Technology is a wonderful thing, but I think we are loath to admit that we need it more than we think do.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I am back and I am ready to ready to get back to work.

As one of my favorite writers, Charlotte Bronte once said:

I am just going to write, because I cannot help it.

Now back to writing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre, Writing

4 Years Old

My blog is four years old today.

It’s been an experience.

It is often said that change does not happen overnight, it takes time and sometimes a few mistakes.

I read somewhere that there are around 2 million blog posts published every day.

While my blog may not have the amount of followers or as many hits as other blogs do, I appreciate the readers who have taken time out of their busy day to read what I have written.

Thank you to my readers and enjoy your weekend.

2 Comments

Filed under Life, Writing

The Process

I wrote in one of my posts last night about the novel writing group that I joined and how hard it is to kill your darlings.

Tonight I want to write about how hard the writing process is.

The group works as follows:

  1. Everyone who wants to submit will submit a section that they would like help on.
  2. The rest of the group, after reading, provides constructive criticism.

The point of the group is not to attack the piece or the writer, but to help each other grow as writers.

One of the members, whom I suspect will not be returning, took the constructive criticism rather personally. To be fair, the piece that this member submitted was a very rough draft and it didn’t quite adhere to the traditional format of a novel, but that is not the point.

The process of creating art is not easy.

The truth is that hearing criticism, no matter how constructive it is, is very hard to take. It is a blow to the artist’s ego. They put everything into their art and it is still torn to shreds. The chapter that I submitted was torn to shreds. The notes from my fellow writers are like a bitter pill that I know that I have to swallow if I want to succeed.

But the reality is that this is the writing process. Letting my work be torn to shreds and receiving constructive criticism will only make me a better writer and one day, hopefully a published writer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Kill Your Darlings

There is a statement in writing that all writers know and dread: kill your darlings.

For the non writers reading this post, it means editing. It is not the easy editing where a writer would correct a spelling or grammatical error. To kill your darlings as a writer is hard editing. It means that the writer is changing a beloved passage or making changes that they didn’t think they needed to make.

I’ve been killing my darlings since January. About six or seven years ago, I wrote a draft of a novel. It is my adaptation of Beauty And The Beast with Bronte-esque elements. In January, I joined a local novel writing group via meetup. I knew at that time that it was nowhere near the point where I felt comfortable sending it out for possible publication. The first meetup confirmed my feelings.

Since then, I have been killing my darlings again and again.

It’s not easy, especially considering the time I put into the novel prior too joining the group. But the effort (and sometimes heartache) is totally worth it. While my novel is still far from the point of sending out for possible publication, it is slowly getting there.

I know that I will have to continue to kill my darlings for as long as it takes. It’s not easy, but if the end result is publication, then it must be done.

Leave a comment

Filed under Anne Bronte, Beauty And The Beast, Books, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Writing

If It Were Only That Easy

Many of my regular readers know that I have been taking Muy Thai Kickboxing classes at a local dojo.

At the end of the class, the teacher usually gives a little pep talk.

One of the subjects that comes up every once in a while is that reaching our goals is not easy. If it were, anyone could do it.

I want to be a writer. I want to be earning my keep by my pen.

For about two months now, I have been a part of a local novel writing group.  One of the comments from another group member reminded me of something.

It’s not easy to be a writer. If it were, anyone with ambitions to write would have an Emmy, a Tony, a Pulitzer, be on the New York Times best seller list, etc.

The truth is that it is not easy. Sitting in front of the computer or opening that notebook to write is only the first step. The hard part is actually writing.

But there is the joy in writing and the growth that comes with every new story and every new draft. That is what I love about writing.

I know that one day, I will earn my keep by my pen. But until then, I must earn my keep other ways.

Leave a comment

Filed under Life, Writing

Quirky Quotes #8

So true.

MY COLLEGE ODYSSEY

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”

– Isaac Asimov

They have a brain of their own, I tell you.

View original post

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing