On Writing Well
edited: Tuesday, August 29, 2006
By Donald C Meadows
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2006
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Tips and lesson learned.
If you clicked on here expecting some ideas on characters, prose, or story development, sorry fooled ya. You can get all that from anyone of hundreds of books are articles.
What I want to tell you about is you the writer. Writing is a lot like a sport. You have to be in shape and trained or you just will not make the finish line.
Writing will take a lot out of you, even if you just do it for a hobby. Still you'll try to juggle events of the day, with writing, family, or any one of a hundred things.
A lot of writers do not prepare themselves for the task and they end up burned out or frustrated. They have an idea and probably the talent, but once into it they find that the work is just to hard. It is too hard. It has to be hard. Running a race is hard. It is supposed to be.
Get ready for the race. Orgainze is the key word to allow yourself the time to write. It might mean you get up a bit early or get to bed a bit late. Don't try to wrtire when the kids need you for homework, or the spouse is needing something or another. Set realistic goals and do your best to reach them. It could be one page, one paragraph, whatever it takes.
If you're sick then your sick. Dragging yourself to the keyboard might seem heroic but how good do you think your awork will be?
Stay well. Get the sleep you need. Exercise if you can. Just a walk around the block, heck you never know what inspiration you might find on that walk.
Understand that all writers will face rejection. This is a fact of life that you cannot avoid. Prepare your self for it. Learn from it and make it a positive thing. Like I know for a fact that my manuscripts have been in some of the best trash cans in the publishing industry. Don't let it get you down.
Remember what is important. It's not a $1000000 book or movie deal. It's that little girl or boy that asks you for some cookies. It's the spouse that asks you to rub thier back. Its the call from your Mother. Take time for what is most important, you can write later. Trust me the guilt of not understanding what is really important will haunt you even if you do get that contract.
Take care of your hands, these are your money makers. Even a small cut can make tapping the keys tough.
Understand your present limitations. I had the idea for my novel when I was 18. No way could I have written it then. Are you ready for a novel? Have you done some short stories? Work up gradually to your goal. Don't rush. If the story is good enough, the world will wait. Work to overcome the limitations. Remember you can't eat an elephant in one sitting.
Critics are everywhere. So what? Is your work good to you? Also take into account who is doing the critquing. Is the person frowning upon your work qualified to do so? Who really is qualified. My novel OF ICE AND STEEL was just released. You think my wife read it? Nope. She does not like that type of writing. Okay. So don't let others get you down.
Now what about the flip side? You send in the manuscript and you get it published. You're big time now right? Nope, sorry. You are just for the time being going to be busier, confused, frustrated, unsure and scared. Or you may take what I call the "Helium Head" approach. You are now an author, and the world must pay due honor. If you are in this mind set, you need to come on back down. You are now just a tiny fish in a very big ocean, and the sharks out there love little fish.
Once you are published everyone on the planet will tell you how it is. Listen to those you trust, and who have 1. Nothing to gain. 2. Want you to succeed.
Watch out now, here come the guilt monsters. Everyone will want thier free copy of your work. Explain with as much tacit as you can that you have only limited copies, and have to use those to promote the book. Offer to give them a deal or some sort. Just be nice about and understand you are now in a business.
Well I hope this little lecture has helped some of you who are out there pecking away frustrated, mad, and confused. Drop a line if you have any questions or comments.
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|Reviewed by Miller Caldwell
You wise ol' one you are!
Great advice. Savy and to the point. But take the brakes off. Is it not time for your second book?
|Reviewed by Rebecca Burns
|I really enjoyed that. The part about it being like a sport was great. I actually just picked up a book called, Writing from Within, it promises to help me get in the habit of more authentic writing. I am looking to create a small group of 3-5 writers for a critique group. Thanks again.
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead