Friday, January 22, 2010

Thoughts on Writing

My Achilles’ Heel
by Nicki Salcedo

I write for myself. Everyone says, “Know your target audience.” I am my target audience. I tried to write for a specific market once. I dreaded writing. I never once had the urge to go back and re-read my words. Now, I’m back to writing for me. I always wished that my grandmother or mother kept a journal. I write for me and my kids. I hope they’ll be curious about the world and how other people experienced the world. I’m still figuring out how to channel my creative voice into my novel writing voice. Ignoring industry advance is my folly. Isn’t folly a wonderful word? I write joyfully. I write for myself. Write for yourself. Write something you think no one else will like or appreciate. Then see if you aren’t, for a moment, free.

Writing is work
by Susan May

I think writing requires talent, imagination, but most of all I think it requires desire. It is hard work. Want it and want it badly. Being a writer, a published one, means having to keep moving forward, even when I feel like quitting. I prevent myself from quitting by surrounding myself with people who write by attending conferences, regular writing meetings, taking classes, reading writing relate magazines, listening to other writers experiences and most importantly by writing daily. I know if I'm receiving rejections it is because I'm sending material out which is necessary if I want my work published. The reward for writing is being able to share my story which is always worth the hard work.

J PERRY'S VIEW ON WRITING (as gleaned from others):

I can't say anything about writing that hasn't been said before, but here are some of the bits of wisdom that guide me:

1) Everyone who writes, writes crap. Give yourself permission to shovel a draft full.

2) You can't fix a blank page.

3) Persistence is of utmost importance.

4) Only praise in public. If you must criticize, do so in private. (I think Warren Buffet said this)

5) The writing community is a great mother. All you have to do is ask, and she's there.

6) Everyone who is on the writing journey, deserves to be there. Treat colleagues (published, unpublished, and industry professionals) with respect.


Marilyn Baron said...

Thanks everyone for your great and inspirational posts.

Marilyn Baron

Sandy Elzie said...

Each of you gave great insight into what makes you tick and what helps you write.

J Perry, love your #1. Yes, we all write crap at some time or other. The trick to success to to move on and sure enough, soon you will write pearls that will take you where you want to go.

Thanks ladies,


Maxine Davis said...

'morning ladies,

I loved the three posts. Yes, Nicki, I write what I want to read. When I can't find a book with a setting I like, characters or plot, I write it - for me!

Susan, I know rejections mean I'm writing, but one of these days getting a call will mean I'm published!

JP, love the list!! - especially #2!

Great advice ladies!

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Everyone's advice is so eclectic but at the same time fits together so well.

Write what you want. Remember it's hard work. Get something on the page.

Dianna Love said...

Wonderful advice from all three of you ladies.

I will just add that way, way back when I started writing I thought by the time someone was published they would have reached a learning curve where it got easier. But I can tell you from experience, and as per other authors, that this is not the case. Every published author struggles through their stories at some point or another, if not every time. The more you understand about what it takes to spin a tale in a way that will engage a reader the higher you raise that bar to write to.

So don't ever think those hard days at writing are because you "aren't there yet" - just the contrary. Thriller author Steve Berry said "the minute you think that writing is hard to congratulate yourself because you are definitely a writer."

I love the comments about writing for your self as Nicki, Sandy, Maxine (did I miss anyone?) pointed out. What a wonderful break for your muse for a day to sit down and write anything that makes you happy. I can see that maybe even giving you ideas for a story. You ladies have me thinking about adding that to a talk I have coming up.

Anna Steffl said...

Nicki, didn't Steven King say there were two kinds of writers? Those who write for others and those who write for themselves and it's damn near impossible for them to change who they are?

Susan -- hard work. Oh yeah. Anyone who thinks it isn't doesn't understand the first draft really is as JPS said, crap.

JPS. Crap. One of five favorite words. I used to think it was one of the four-letter-words.

Stephanie J said...

I needed to read these today! Thank you. I agree with all three posts. Perhaps J's #3 does a nice job of wrapping it up for me... write for me, work hard and surround myself with writing, but most of all, stick to it and exercise persistence!

Cyrano said...

Nicki, Susan, JPerry, thanks so much for the words of wisdom.
I got a little something to help me through my writing day from each of you.

Have a lovely evening,

Ana Aragón said...

Great insight and great advice! Writing is hard work, so you need to enjoy what you're writing. And, yes, a lot of times that writing is crap! But you can't fix it if it's still buried somewhere in the deep recesses of your brain!


Christine said...

Loved this post! So true. I was interested to read all the view points. Right now I am writing as a way of growing up as a writer. I'm growing by book by word count, growing my craft by learning, growing my skin as in thick.

I stopped worrying about the industry as much as about what I do. I can only control my writing.

And most of it is crap till I fix it!

I love the quote about the writing community being a mother. It's so true. I love this one.

Linsey Lanier said...

I love this post, too. There's much wisdom in all three parts.

Nicki, writing for yourself is the only way to appeal to a mass audience, imo. But I love your idea of feeling free.

Susan, I like that. How to "prevent yourself from quitting." I'll keep that in mind.

J Perry, perhaps not new, but six great ideas to remember. Thanks for reminding me. :)

And isn't that Steve Berry quote a gem?


Tami Brothers said...

Great advice, ladies!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!!!


Nicki Salcedo said...

Susan, "The reward for writing is being able to share my story". Thank you for this.

JP, "Persistence is of utmost importance". If at first... :)