Wednesday, May 03, 2006

If You Want to Write - DO IT!

By Connie S. Hall

Since hearing a quote by Nora Roberts, "I can fix a bad page, but I can't fix a blank one," I keep it posted at my computer. Sometimes it drives me when I don't want to be driven. That's a good thing, because sometimes we writers need to be driven.

Writing a book is not easy, so if you are looking for something easy to do, don't become a writer.

Many writers have to live two lives. They work full time jobs, and have a family. When you have a family, you have responsibility and when you have responsibility, you spend many hours doing for others. As a rule, people are content with working, raising a family, and attending church.

For someone who has a passion for writing that is not enough. Many give up because it's hard work. You have to be determined that you will succeed. If you are not committed, it won't happen.

Everyday you have to write. You write as often as you can and even sneak in and write when you should be doing something else. That's just the way it is. If you are going to be a writer, you do have to carve out a certain time each day to write. You will get angry and discouraged, but you have to stick to it. You have to be committed. When you take up the writing habit, make it enjoyable.

It doesn't matter what you write, it just needs to be exciting, funny, or even sad. Be sure you write about something you care about and something you know about. You need to give your readers a good picture, not a fuzzy one. Make sure you know the basics—how to spell, choose similar words with different meanings, punctuate, and how to put a sentence together so it makes sense.

Read the type of stories you are interested in writing. Oh, and you do need to schedule time for reading.

Now get busy, don't just talk about writing. DO IT!


Christopher Bigelow said...

I think you forgot to mention learning how to take critique. I just "finished" a big novel that I've taken years to write, and I recently sent it out to about 27 volunteer reviewers. I always thought I was pretty good at taking critiques, but when you have such a big project that you've invested so much time and energy in, and someone tells you you need to do a rewrite that would take you several more months of hard work or even a full year, that extremely discouraging, all the more so when you suspect they may be partly or completely right. So for the past two or three weeks, I've been on a real emotional rollercoaster as people have given me critiques, and I haven't even heard back from some of the most important ones yet (my parents, my agent)... Man, it's not an easy ride!

Darvell Hunt said...

27, wow! You make a good point, Chris. A whole blog post could be written on that topic alone. It is discouraging when people tell you that you aren't done when you thought you were and by now your are completely sick of working on it already. It feels even worse when you end up agreeing with them.

That's cool if your parents can actually help you. Most relatives of mine are pretty much useless when it comes to critiquing of my work. Oh well.