. . . . to yours

A few years ago, I started writing and appreciated the help and encouragement that I received. So, I want to help others who are starting to write, struggling to write, or scared to write. I've been there! And writing isn't always easy. So this blog is my way of trying to help and encourage others to "move forward and conquer the blank page!"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Welcome to Writing Rules 101.

If you want to succeed as a writer, you must be willing to submit to the rules of the writing industry. Period.

It's easy to pour our heart out in our writing and become as attached to it as our firstborn. It becomes our "baby." We think it's wonderful and that everyone should agree with us. Or, we think our newly created manuscript will hit the best seller list. How close to reality are either of these attitudes? I hate to break it to you. Not very.

You see, in the first case, becoming too attached to our writing makes us blind to see our mistakes. Since we spent hours thinking of the story line and even more trying to get the ideas down on the computer, we become deeply invested emotionally with our manuscript. Writing a novel truly is like birthing a child. Months of dreams, excitement, discomfort, frustration, lots of labor and then you produce . . . see where I'm going? No mother wants to be told her baby isn't beautiful. Although truth be told, I have five kids and one of mine just wasn't a cute baby. And I have an absence of photos to prove it! (Yes, they turned out fine but I'll keep you guessing which one it was.)

In the second case, think about this. Is there a novel out there that hasn't had some editing done to it? I'm not talking self-printing. The best sellers out there right now have had someone look over their book and EDIT it. You're not the exception.

I'm not trying to sound mean in any way. My goal is to help you get into the right mindset about writing so you'll have the best chance of succeeding. You must be willing to check your pride at the door and listen to others who know more than you do.

This week, think about these questions. Am I writing because I believe I have something important to say? Am I writing for validation? Can I be humble and learn from constructive criticism? Will I quit at the first sign of difficulty or rejection?

Only you know if you're really ready for the journey of writing. And it is a journey. If you love the process, enjoy the prose and have a purpose, then you will succeed.

But no one else can define success for you. Maybe you'll write a newsletter your neighbors will love. Maybe a church bulletin that makes people laugh. Maybe you'll write articles that touch lives. And yes, maybe you will write the next great American novel.

Spend some time thinking about the "why" question. Why am I doing this?

Next time we'll cover some of the basic rules you need to know about the industry.

Until then, write something and conquer the blank page!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Musings

Welcome back! Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, but as I said in my first post, life happens sometimes!

I'm going to start a little series on Writing Rules 101. It will include information on mistakes many first time writers make and how to avoid them. These mistakes are not limited to grammatical errors, but deal with topics like trying to shop a manuscript, trying to contact an editor, etc. But it will also cover some grammar rules.

If you have a question you would like answered, please feel free to let me know. If I don't know the answer off-hand, I will contact some fellow writers and find the answer or point you in the right direction to explore on your own.

So, I hope to see you on Thursday for the first installment of Writing Rules 101.

Until then, may you find the courage to conquer the blank page!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

Because I have been blessed with writers who have encouraged me to pursue my love of writing, I hope to encourage you to write and write well.

My journey of writing started with a horrible case of strep throat. It landed me in bed for a week. During that time, I corresponded with Vonda Skelton. I hadn't even met her yet, but she told me of a local writer's meeting that she and Edie Melson had started. When I felt better, I attended and listened to what they had to say. Working on my craft, I kept meeting with them and eventually attended my first writer's conference at Ridgecrest in North Carolina. Again, I listened to what they said and left the conference with my first paid writing assignment.

Well, in the ensuing years, much has transpired. There are times when writing came easily and times when life got in the way. But my writing buddies helped keep me going. So, I will share more of the lessons I have learned along the way and hope that you will find the courage to conquer the blank page!

Until next time, blessings!!