Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's been a little while since I've done a writing post.
I'm not promising anything, except maybe a random collection of equally random thoughts. I don't really have a soapbox issue to talk about, but a few snippets of thoughts in my head after conversations with my writing friends.
1. If you quit, it'll never happen for you.
I've talked about this before. It's still true. No one is going to knock on your door and offer you a contract. You have to work for it.
2. Take only the advice that works for you.
Every writer is different. Every book is different. What works for one author might not work for you. Many things are the same with writers, but not everything. Find your own place and own it. It's yours.
3. Critiques.
You should have someone read over your work before you submit. And not your mom and your grandma either. Your eyes can no longer see mistakes. Your brain knows exactly what your hero meant, or why your heroine hates skull tattoos. Your reader might not. You need to know that something doesn't make sense, and you need to be able to take the criticism. There are emotions involved, but you have to put them away. If the suggestions don't ring true, ignore them. I mean, consider, but if after time spent really thinking about the comments, you still know your way is better don't change it. It's your story.
4. Do not deviate!
Once you make your mind up to do something, do it. Doubts will creep in at some point. Do whatever necessary to dig yourself out of doubt hell, but stay the course. You'll never know if its going to work for you if you don't give it your all.
5. Cut yourself some slack.
Give yourself permission to goof off once in a while. You have to. That's the whole "refilling the well" thing. It's necessary.
6. Spend time with other writers.
Also necessary. Even if you don't write the same thing or have never shared your work. There's no better inspiration. If you don't belong to a writing organization, join one.
7. Do your research.
I'm not talking about finding out whether or not they wore underwear in 16th century Ireland. I'm talking about market research - submission guidelines, editor preferences, agent preferences, googling to see what other writers are saying about who/what/when/where, and listening to what your peers are saying. Be informed.
Okay. I think that's enough and I'm not sure that any of this makes sense!


sailorcross said...

Makes perfect sense to me--particularly #1. That we can apply to every area of our lives--if we quit, it'll never happen.

Probably it would be a good idea to have some person who doesn't really know you well to read your work--someone who would honestly critique and say, "What? What does this mean? I don't get this?" or even better--"LOVE this part!!!"

Thanks for calling me last night--that meant the world to me!!

Feeling better today, of course!!


Victoria said...

You're right. #1 could be applied to pretty much everything!

Is that a hint?

We really missed you last night! I'm glad you're feeling better! BTW, Evie gave me something for you.

Talk you to soon!
V. :)

Ava Quinn said...

Nice post, Smith. A good refresher! Ineeded the refreshing. (am I saying that I smell?)

WV= morstif - too easy.

Victoria said...

LOL, M3!!
V. :)