Thursday, July 15, 2010

Best Advice to Writers Blogfest

Last month I was invited to join a blogfest by Carrie Bailey who is known as @peevishpenman on twitter.  You can find the blogfest rules here.  If you are not following her on twitter, go and do so now.  I would like to thank Carrie for the invitation and the opportunity to participate and would encourage all of you to go and check out all of the great writers who are taking part in this blogfest today.  So without further ado I give you my entry...

From One Wannabe Writer to Another

A few years ago I was invited to attend an event being put together to celebrate successful women.  

At this particular conference a key note speaker was asked to share the best advice she had received from a mentor.  She responded with this; "Never take advice from anyone you wouldn't want to trade places with."  She went on to explain you wouldn't take marital advice from a divorce' (unless it's what not to do) or health advice from someone who obviously does not take care of their own health.  She was not being critical, just pointing out that you needed to know where to go to get your answers.

After that I started to research how my favorite authors approach their vocation. I think writing is more of a vocation than a career because the really good ones are "called" to do it. 

I should really prologue this by saying:

1.  I am not a new writer, I have been writing since I learned how to put pen to paper.  That doesn't mean you should listen to me. 

2.  I have never had a full book published. 

3.  I don't write because I have a burning desire to be published.  I write because I have a burning desire to write.

That being said, let me share what I have learned.  Now you are probably expecting me to talk about punctuation or word usage right?  Or maybe you think I am going to talk about revising and the pursuit of it.  How about writing what you know, or staying on point. 

While all of those are great tips, the best piece of advise I have ever received regarding writing is actually quite simple.



Even when you don't feel like it.  All of the rest of it will come to you.  The punctuation will be learned, corrections can be made on the fly and you will figure out what your point is and learn to stay on it.  

As you do this you will start to recognize your "voice", your attention to detail will grow and become second nature, and what feels good and what doesn't will come easier.  

The best part of this advice, the very best part, you are learning all of this as you do the thing you had set out to do to begin with. 



Linda G. said...

Good advice. :)

And I guess I can take it, since I'd trade places with you, at least for a little while. (I like my own life too much to trade with anyone permanently.) Especially if your hubs bakes me something. ;)

Karla Nellenbach said...

Great post! and I'm with you on #3. While I'd LOVE to be published so that I can share my stories with the world, I write simply because I want to write :)

Dawn Maria said...

I really like that spin- advice from people you'd want to trade places with. I think it puts the focus where it belongs, on what those people have done to become successful, rather than on notions like , "I want to be the next (big name author)"

Jamie D. said...

I agree - though I didn't know how to state it. That's pretty much my philosophy too...emulate the journey of those you want to be like. :-)

Candyland said...

Wooo! Go girl (does anyone say that anymore?!)!!! As writers we must do the impossible and...write!

Jan Rider Newman said...

If I wrote out of burning desire to be published, I'd have given up long ago. And you're right, if you write every day you'll learn everything you need to know about the mechanics and subtleties. Really good post. Thanks.

C Bailey said...

Thank you. That's the same advice my research on all the great writers. There was some theory about doing anything for 10,000 hours and becoming an expert at it. I must be at 7,000 hours :).

And thank you for the recommendation to follow on Twitter. Writer friends on Twitter keep me motivated when things slow down.

( ^_^)o自自o(^_^ )

A toast to the 10,000th hour! Long may we write unhindered! (Yes, I've been reading historical drama lately)

Hugs! Excellent post.

Patty Blount said...

hear, hear! *stands, applauds*

I write well... to tell a compelling story *winks* Writing, even when you don't feel like it, is important to keep good habits from getting diluted. That's the hardest part for me, full time job, kids, husband, house, sick mom, etc.

Great post.

Amos Keppler said...

"I don't write because I have a burning desire to be published. I write because I have a burning desire to write."

It's almost, almost like a calling... :)

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

You didn't say if tweeting counts? LOL Great post!

Kelly Breakey said...

Linda: Hubs said he would be happy to make you one of his Mojito frozen cakes. This way you get the cocktail and dessert at the same time.

Karla: See, I knew there was a reason we got along so well.

Dawn Maria: Thanks for stopping by and taking time out of your day to read my post. It is much appreciated and I hope to see you again.

Jamie D: Thanks for stopping by and sharing, hoping to see you again.

Candyland: You know your comments are always welcomed and Woo Go Girl, is always welcome when you come for a visit.

Jan: Welcome to the madness. If you are motivated to write, the rest of it comes naturally over time. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hope to see you again.

Carrie: Thanks for the invite...again. It was a real pleasure. When I have my first blogfest, I will be sure to let you know.

Patty; As one of my favorite authors, you would surely know and I promise I won't call you Shirley. (I had to throw in the Airplane reference.)

Amos: Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope to see you again. Because as you can see, it is a calling for me.

Elizabeth: Twitter has to count. Writing is writing. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

WritersBlockNZ said...

I read a quote recently: "You know you're a writer when you'd keep writing even if someone paid you not to." Great post and wonderful advice.

Anonymous said...

Great advice, so true. The more we write the better we become. And in the end it might be nice to be published, but as long as I can write I will be happy.