Category Archives: writing tips

Breathe. Chin up. Begin Again. #IWSG #AMWRITING

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts feature other fabulous writing friends with me, Natalie Aguirre,Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

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I needed an extra push to start writing again.

I recently received editor feedback on my second draft of my work in progress. The nine-page letter sent me on a roller coast of ups and down, smiles and frowns. My shoulders sank an inch with each of the seven main points I realized I still needed to change and consider.

I’m coping. I’m smiling again.  Seven points isn’t all that bad, right?

If your lost and floating someplace away from your words like I am, I’ve found some inspiring writing thoughts to get us both grounded again:

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
― Jodi Picoult

“Yes,” I can’t help thinking to myself, even though I’m still glaring at the computer monitor.

I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”
— William Carlos Williams

I’m lifting my rib cage a little higher and a one-sided smile tugs at my mouth. Of course I’ll write and revise. I have no other choice.

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
— Anne Frank

I’m rolling my shoulders back. My mind begins to race with possibility.

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
— Richard Bach

I’m lifting my chin, and now I might be popping my knuckles and wiggling my fingers super excited, eager to begin one of the seven points at a time.

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.”
― Lisa See

Wow! Just wow!

Okay. I’m convinced. I have four whole days of vacation ahead of me.

I’m ready.

How about you?

Facing First Person Demons #IWSG #AMWRITING

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome Co-Hosts feature other fabulous writing friends: Diane Burton, Kim Lajevardi, Sylvia Ney, Sarah Foster, Jennifer Hawes, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!

Check out our IWSG homepage for recent news and events.  And as always, thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂 

***

First person narrative is my favorite story to read. Especially when done well. And by doing well, I mean while I’m reading, I feel myself lying, crying, making mistakes and biting my nails with wrong choices right along with the character.

This month’s IWSG Question asks: of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

Young Adult Literature seems to resonate best with this style. Even if the character is a young character, the strifes and struggles are all too human. No matter the world the book builds, Young Adult draws me in. I relate.

And that’s a great story.

A few months ago, I wrote a post on artificial intelligence bots used in marketing. I explored one, and interacted on Facebook with the Bot. It found me a book. I admit, I didn’t buy in, but now I’m reading it. I’m loving it. It’s first person and brilliantly done.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu.

Heard of it?

I highly recommend the read if you like magical worlds, misfits and lots of human struggle.

Happy IWSG Day everyone. My insecurity this month? Polishing up edits. I made it through a second draft, but I keep rereading before the editor gets it. I keep finding more and more places to tighten sentences and describe scenes. How do you know if it’s good enough?

I don’t know. I guess you just have to trust.

A last thought for the day is one by Helen Keller:

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Caught In A Moment? Erase Later.

This post is for my facebook friend Dawn. Thanks for the tip, my friend.
I played soccer in high school. Left-midfield because I am left-handed and naturally left-footed. Built for endurance, I could run, I could set a pace and stick with it forever, another player forever, and I kind of liked to steal the ball, too.
I remember the field of grass with the white painted lines, me staring straight ahead at the goal post at the far end as I shadowed a girl from the opposite team, pushing forward with her. The crowd roared, the bodies a blur in the bleachers to the side, and the ref stuck it out somewhere close by, ready to stop the game if anyone broke a rule.
My foot darted between a pair of legs and snagged the ball away, with me turning and rushing fast, ahead of the girl even faster, and I plowed.
I didn’t stop to think, did I run the right way? Maybe I should have cut to the right instead of the left—or pulled the ball back and spun in instead of out. The picture is in your mind. You know the goal and you move toward it in the game. If you second guess yourself before you move, then you might not get moving and miss your chance.
Writing and soccer are sort of the same—in principle anyway.
You see this picture in your head, you know your plot points and you’ve developed your characters so well you practically live them. If you stop yourself, hung up on a word before you  finish a chapter, and most importantly the story, the momentum might fall and the picture begins to fade away.
A first draft is a field of grass with a goal at the end. Your fingers are the instrument, pushing the keys or the pencil and you move, flying with your ideas and writing straight ahead. You could stop to revise your word choice, but just like the game, with a first draft, it’s best to keep writing. Mistakes will happen and there’s always time to fix them when you’re done. Also like the game, you can’t always go back and see the picture as clearly as you did the first time.
I have two tips today, useful ones you could apply to any activity you love to do. First, don’t stop your flow, and two, make mistakes. It’s the intention that matters and mistakes are ways to learn and grow once you’re done in the moment. So keep going, let loose, and don’t be afraid to let yourself get caught up in the moment and the feel of the world around you. You can always find your way back.

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