Thursday, October 17, 2013

6 Things a Writer Should Not Do - Writer's Reveal

Today it's time for the Writer's Reveal post. This month's topic was sent to me from Melissa of Melissa Writes and the topic is, in her words, " Write a post about what not to do as a writer. Ideally at least 5 points."

A Writer should never....
1. Give up. If you have been writing for a while now and you feel like your not getting anywhere with it, try a different approach or take some new classes to help you hone your skills. Don't just throw in the towel. Very few people actually decide to become writers and then start writing. If you have managed to get that far, then you need to keep at it. There's a reason you decided to write. 

2. Stop improving and learning. Writing skills develop through use. Some people might be born with a natural talent for writing, but most of the writers you see with books that are top-sellers had to learn to write that well. It takes time and practice and, for some, classes and tutorials. You need to get people to critique your manuscripts and you will learn from those critiques so that you don't make the same mistakes with the next first draft you write.

3. Talk about writing more than you actually write. Nothing is going to get written if you don't sit your butt down in that chair and write. Talking about your story is great; it can help you flesh out your ideas when you talk about the story with someone else, but if you spend all of your time on your book discussing it or thinking about it and spend no time actually writing those ideas down, you are not ever going to get your book written.

4. Let Facebook, Twitter and other social media take over your computer time. Again, you have to actually spend time writing your story if you ever want to finish it. Facebook, Twitter and other avenues of social media have this magical way of making time fly by without you ever getting anything done. Don't let the pull of social media keep you from getting your writing done. Set aside time for social media and stick to that time. Also set aside time for writing when all the social media pages are closed down on your computer and your phone is turned off.

5. Isolate yourself. Social media has one thing going for it when it comes to a writer's life. Social media can connect you with other writers, agents and publishers. One thing about the writing world, writers are usually willing to help each other. Instead of seeing one another as competition for the book selling market, writers have been reaching out to one another for years - giving moral support, helping by critiquing each others' books, creating and joining writing challenges and groups, helping spread the word of new book releases, writing reviews, helping one another brainstorm ideas and more. As a writer, you really don't want to miss out on all of the support you can get from other writers.

6. Reply to a review you find on Amazon, Goodreads or elsewhere. Even if you make a positive statement, it can backfire. There was recently a lot of discussion and argument about what authors should and shouldn't do when it comes to reviewing, but the easiest way to stay out of trouble with the public is to not respond to reviews.

You might have noticed that I listed 6 things instead of 5. It could easily have been longer. 

Instead of the above list of things you should not do as a writer, I'd like to state the one thing that you absolutely HAVE to do. Believe in yourself!

The the other writers in Writer's Reveal are:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hope - Insecure Writers Support Group for October 2013

 This is my seventh monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group post. The IWSG is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the IWSG is:
"to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!"
This is my post for Insecure Writer's Support Group for October 2013. The topic I chose for this one is "hope."
I have to admit, first off, that this month, as I am submitting stories for two anthologies (one I am putting together myself), I am feeling a bit insecure about my writing again. It comes from reading the wonderful stories put forward by others for the same anthologies and feeling as though I can never match the brilliance in their writing.

But I still have hope. I hope and believe that I can still learn enough to improve my writing and make it better. I hope and believe that, someday, I will be able to write something that I can truly be proud of, and I still have hope that someday, others will look at my writing and think, "Wow! She's so good!" as I so often think about the writing of others.

I hope that someday I can earn a living from  my writing, (or at least enough that my husband stops hinting that he thinks I should go out looking for a 9 to 5 job). I hope that someday I will have enough writing experience under my belt that I will be able to help others achieve their writing dreams too.

I have hope that someday an agent will see a pitch for one of my many stories and will be completely smitten with my story and my writing, and I have hope that soon after, a publisher will follow them in being smitten.

Most of all, I hope I will find a way past this debilitating procrastination and FINISH the edits on my already-written novels and start writing the other novels that I have planned. I'm not going to make my dream come true by putting off the work towards it.

What do you hope?