Thursday, June 28, 2007

Action = Reaction

By Nichole Giles

Summer is a busy time for most people. Then again, so is the rest of the year. Life tends to happen, and if you don’t take a few minutes every day to write a few pages, lines, or even words, you will lose the gift you have been given and it will slip away unnoticed, never to have touched a life. Not even yours.

In light of this, I’d like to share with you a few pieces of advice from literary agent Stephen Fraser, given to a crowd of writers at the BYU Writing for Young Readers Workshop a couple weeks ago.

“Never underestimate the power of a good idea.”

“Writing is a craft that is built from experience and practice.

“A good manuscript is a piece of writing that is truly worthy of you and your audience.”

“You can’t rush a work of art.”

“There is a right place for your good writing, and you can know what it is, so do your research.”

“Be patient, be resourceful, be fearless.”

“It is your individuality that makes your writing good.”

“Writing that is timeless, elegant, crafted, pure, intelligent, strong, dramatic and poetic always has a place. Good books endure.”

“Writers are transcribers of ideas, who are infinite in numbers and always coming.”

Good advice coming from an agent, right? Now, I’d like you to ask yourself one question. Why am I a writer?

Once you have answered that question, ask the next one. What do I have to do to write something every day? When you have figured it out, go ahead and make that sacrifice. Get up earlier, stay up later, skip that TV show, or whatever you have to do to find the time to write, and get going.

But before you do, there is one last thing I want you to remember. ACTION = REACTION. Always. In movies, in story, in life. Now get to it!

(Let’s get a little reaction here!)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the kick in the behind. I have to turn the advice around though. My problem is not finding time for everything else. If I were left to my own devices, I would write all day every day and forget my job, sleep, children, wife, Etc.
It's a pity I'm not published yet?
Keith Fisher

Stephanie said...

I agree with Keith. It is too easy for me to put aside the other things I need to do. Then I feel guilty for neglecting everything else and don't write as much as I should. I guess it is all about finding the right balance.

Nichole Giles said...

Good for you, Keith. At least you're getting your writing done, although I'm sure your family misses you. And who needs sleep anyway?


Nichole Giles said...

Balance? You mean some people have balance? I should really get myself some of that!

Thanks for commenting, Stephanie.


Triple Nickel said...

What great thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. Maybe I can take more control of my life?!
What's the old saying? "happiness does not consist of having everything you want, but in wanting everything you have. So keep using those great writing skills!

Nichole Giles said...

You're right, Triple Nickel. We all need a little reminder here and there.

The truth is, we can't always have everything we want, but we can appreciate what we have. We have talents handed to us from heaven that we are obligated to nurture and share.

Thanks for commenting!


Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I have the same problem Keith has. It's not so bad at the moment because my children are beyond the constant care stage, but still, it is there, and still I wonder if it is passion or obsession or both? I loved the saying on the book bag we received at the last LDS Storymakers conference: "I will not live a normal life. I'm a WRITER." Somehow, that validated me.

Nichole Giles said...

You go, Rhonda! You take that validation and run with it. You are a writer and that is something to be proud of.


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about not being able to have things you really want. Sometimes the things you really want will make you feel wonderful and alive. Then when the obsession has passed you can see the problems it could have caused had you acted. If you can be strong enough to recognize this then you will find much more joy in what you have been given. You never stop wanting it so let it drive you to be your best, but if you can find the strength to resist the obsession and learn to balance passion and responsibility the results will be so much more rewarding.

Nicki Congratulations on your Friend Publication. I know it was 6 months ago, but I just came across it while I was reading to my three little girls. I am so proud of you. I look forward to reading your novel when it’s published.