Hey look at me I’m published!

This means I know everything there is to know about writing.

Right?

WRONG!

This message came through to me loud and clear this week as I worked at my current WIP. (Not that I ever thought I knew every thing there is to know about writing!)

News flash here!!

Words do not always flow through a writer’s life like a meandering river.

Sometimes we hit turbulence, sometimes a freak storm comes up, sometimes we hit the rapids in the river, but if we’re lucky our boat will not capsize. We won’t fall in the water and drown. Turbulence just means we have to work harder to keep our craft afloat.

As an editor once said to me, “Writing is not for wimps!”

Boy, is that an understatement.

I certainly don’t have all the answers to all of the woes we experience in life or writing. I think I’m safe in saying that no one does.

Life is a journey of learning, and each day presents us with new opportunities. I choose to look for ways to improve, to make what is good and right in my life work even better.

Our lives, just like our writing, can usually stand some improvement. If you’re one of those lucky people who have a perfect life, and if you are a writer who gets the story right on your first attempt, then I send you blessings because you are one of the truly fortunate ones.

A facebook friend, who just happens to be a published writer, sent me this link last week titled “Eleven Things You Need To Know” by Tim Wynne-Jones. I knew my WIP was going to be too wordy. She sent me this link saying she likes to keep these tips in mind when she’s looking to streamline a manuscript.

These tips are sort of straightforward, things that any writer would look and say, ah yes, but of course. As a beginner, I would have looked at these tips and gobbled them up, chewed and devoured them and asked for more. As we proceed into our writing life, creating plots and characters, it never hurts to brush up on the obvious. I certainly appreciated having these tips presented to me last week at a time when I needed this reminder.

There are lots of books out there on writing and most authors have their favourites, books that we fall back on when the water get a bit rough.

Perhaps one problem is that we become so comfortable in the place we are now we begin to slide backwards without even noticing. We unlearn the things we worked so hard to learn. Turns out the lessons that we thought we learned we didn’t really learn after all. Sometimes we are so tightly wrapped in our chapters that we kind of let all those useful tips slide. Just as we fall back into old behaviour patterns, we sometimes fall back into old writing habits. Yes, it happens. It never hurts to keep a supply of helpful hints close by.

For any aspiring writers out there I urge you to check out this link , and if you’re a published author I’m sure you’ll appreciate the gems inside these eleven tips. I know I’m going to keep it handy for those times when the water gets a bit rough. It will serve to remind me to slow down and pay attention, steady my strokes.

Happy Living! Happy Writing!

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14 Comments

  1. duke1959

     /  January 30, 2011

    I think ( I know dangerous) that many writers put too much pressure on themselves to find the perfect word or phrase. For some reason many writers feel like they can never have a day in which things don’t flow. Of course in the rest of their lives it happens and they don’t think one thing about it.

    Reply
    • Hey Duke, thinking is only dangerous if we think dangerous thoughts! While writers enjoy finding that perfect phrase or sentence, you’re right , we run the risk of putting too much pressure on ourselves. Writing is hard work, but hopefully we are able to keep it enjoyable. Thanks for dropping in, Mike!

      Reply
      • duke1959

         /  January 31, 2011

        It is hard work and sometimes emotionally it takes the writer to places in which they become uncomfortable.

        Reply
  2. Thank you, Laura. I bookmarked this link. The tips are great. I need to be able to go back to them. Blessings to you…

    Reply
  3. Thanks for your wise words and for starting my week with a great link to Tim Wynne-Jones. At the moment, I’m not in ‘turbulance’ so much as ‘fog,’ looking for a break in the gray so I can find my writing path again–and patience is not one of my virtues! Good luck with your WIP and finding the right words!

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Heather! I was so glad to have the link given to me that I wanted to share it..

      I hope the fog soon lifts and the sun shines down brightly upon you and your WIP. :)

      Reply
  4. A wonderful post, Laura. Not being a fiction writer, I have a slightly different experience with what I do and a different set of editorial eyes with which I view my work, but your tips ring true no matter what sort of writing we’re putting our hands to. It’s good to have confidence but not be over-confident; and it’s also invaluable to have editors we like and trust.

    Reply
    • Thanks Josi! Writing non-fiction is definitely different than writing fiction. I always used to say that Non-fiction was much tougher. At least with fiction I was making most everything up.

      I agree with you, Jodi, we do need to have confidence in our work, but not not the point where we are unwilling to accept the idea that we probably don’t know everything there is to know. I’m confident enough to recognize that in my own writing. There is always more to learn.

      Reply
  5. I can blame my backsliding to forgetfulness. I have a terrible memory for rules. Thanks for posting the link. It’s a great checklist to refer to every few weeks when writing fiction.

    Reply
  6. I can see why she printed them out, they’re invaluable. Thanks, Laura. I’m going to stick these on my menu bar just to use as a reference whenever I get stuck. Have a wonderful week, Laura.

    Reply
  7. Excellent. Bookmarking now.

    Reply

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