Sunday, February 16, 2014

Growing as a Writer

I recently read a post by Jody Hedlund on the Value of Clocking in Time and Words . In this post Hedlund writes about noticing her growth as a writer. She revisited a book she had written six years ago. She was able to look at the book more objectively and saw not tremendously she had grown as a writer. Her post talks about valuing the time and words that you write. She states that thousands upon thousands words later she is a more confident and mature writer.

This brought me to think about my own writing journey.

  • Perfect Practice. I am a firm believer that perfect practice makes perfect. In regards to any new skill, practice alone does not make you good. You can paint a hundred rooms, shoot a hundred baskets but still not be doing it right. You could be just reinforcing a bad habit.
  • Experience. I have had less than two years concentrating on writing to be published. I have finished five manuscripts.
  • Learning. I have been networking with writers, reading blogs and reading books.
  • Beta Readers. A new addition to my writing process is beta readers. I got lucky and have a handful of good ones. They added heavily to my transformation of Love's Autograph.
  • WriteWay. Using a new writing tool that is an invention of the writing goddesses. I can move easily around in my novel and it can be read back to me. It keeps me organized.
I have learned so much in less than two years. I, however, have a long way to go. I would love to have a writing mentor. I need someone to guide my writing and writing process. I would love a coach.

I am going to keep writing, using my tools, utilizing beta readers and search for a mentor and/or coach.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Writer's Best Friend

Writing can be a lonely process. I spend hours, days, weeks, months creating characters, adventures, worlds and love. Then spend even more time editing and re-writing. All the words live on the screen with only me to know. I think that a writer can only do this for so long without someone or something being his/her best friend.

As I type these words I am sitting on my couch with my legs outstretched. My black lab mix Cali is sprawled out across the back of my couch. Her nose is stretched toward me and her front paws hang lazily off the couch and rest on my left arm. Her belly slowly rise and falls. I thought about getting up to get my camera and take a picture, but that would disturb her slumber. Also, the picture could not capture this perfection.

Cali is my writing partner. When I write at a table, she is at my feet. When I write in the Lazy Boy, she curls on my legs. She stays with me and holds me captive. She grounds me.

Some authors have cats who are their writing partners. I have four cats but we don't have that connection. Growing up I had a cat named Bandit who was my writing opposition. I used an old typewriter and she used to try to catch the letters as they flew to the paper.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Editing, Really?

And there is nothing else to be said.

Someone posted this on Writer Unboxed Facebook page. It is so true. I love writing. I want to write, write, write and not have to deal with the editing process.

I have read some authors who say that they enjoy editing. Really? Why?

Writing is like enjoying a wonderful dinner and dessert. Editing is having to wash all the dishes and pots and pan by hand twenty times.

I don't mind working on the plot, developing the characters more and making changes that beta readers suggest. I do mind the grammar, spelling and maintenance tasks.

When I get a book deal and a six-figure deal, it will be great to have an editor and an assistant. Until then, I have to find a way to survive.

One great tool that I have found is the a writing program that reads me the book. I can listen and pick-up mistakes that I missed when reading it.

What do you think about editing? If you like it, what is your secret? If you hate it, what is your secret to get through it?