They say there are two types of writers: those who outline and those that don’t. But aside from outlines, writing a novel can produce an enormous amount of material that needs to be organized. What kind of writer are you? Floating along happily lost in the creative process, your words flowing out in a continuous stream of creativity? Or are you looking at the novel in front of you wondering how to bring it all together? [Read more…]
Most writers are looking for a way to pump out their first novel, as quickly as possible. A fast first draft would be a gift, afterwards you can spend a full six months to a year revising it, if you like. Maybe, you already have a novel, shoved in your desk drawer, you’ve spent the past seven years editing or ignoring? Don’t feel too bad; I have approximately fourteen of them pressed into a few binders, nestled nicely on the bottom shelf of my office bookshelf.
Yes, you read that correctly, I said fourteen. Or is it fifteen?
You see, now I’ve lost count. Anyway, with each novel that I have attempted to write, I get a little bit better at figuring out the best way of approaching the creation of a novel. Practice, practice, practice is how you win the big publishing contract, or so I am told. In my opinion, trying to write the first draft of your novel all at one time is definitely the way to go. A deadline. That’s the true secret. You sit down in your chair and you pound the keyboard until time is up.
How do you make that happen?
I can’t imagine winter without Christmas. This celebration of light at the darkest time of year coincides with the end of my busiest time at work. As Christmas approaches, a frenzy of activity reaches its peak as we prepare up until those last moments before Christmas morning.
I always take some time off after this craziness. My boss has flown to more temperate regions, deadlines have been met and now it’s time to exhale and enjoy time with my family. But where in all this is the time to write? It sits in my belly like a seed waiting to be watered, waiting to see light.
It takes steely effort to find time for extra-curricular activities at this time of year. But all these frenetic, extroverted activities satisfy part of my soul and leave, in me at least, a deep craving for silence, for solace, for selfishness. I look forward to the dark nights ahead with no planned activities, just the storms blowing outside. We’ve satisfied our bodies with too much to eat and perhaps too much to drink. Now I can sit and write undisturbed, not feeling as if I’m missing out, too dog-tired to care. [Read more…]
A Writers’ Conference is a place where writers gather together to celebrate the craft of writing. Writers are inspired, educated and are able to connect with other writers of all levels (beginners to advanced). A conference provides writers with the opportunity to network with other professionals: writers, authors, editors, agents and publishers. It also encourages writers to write, to publish, to promote and sell their own work.
New writers fear attending a writers’ conference.
“I’m not a real writer. Conferences are for real writers, they’re not for me.”
Published writers avoid writers’ conferences.
“I’ve been published already. I could teach every one of those workshops listed on the schedule. I don’t need to go to a conference.”
I disagree. Writers’ Conferences are for ALL writers. There is something beneficial about attending a conference at least once a year. I was lucky enough to attend two writers’ conferences this past year, and one was a newbie conference, so it had it’s issues, but overall, there was something awesome for me at both of them. [Read more…]
(Making time to write when you think your life is too busy!)
If you are going to write, if you are going to call yourself a writer, then write, finish something and put it out there. At a leadership conference I attended recently, part of the training was focused upon scheduling your time. Believe it or not, it wasn’t all about the proper way of saying something or modeling something; a huge chunk of time was spent teaching us how imperative it is to schedule the important stuff.
The gist was – in your life there are the big rocks, the stones, the things you want and must do to achieve success in whatever you do. The time for these things, like writing, is competing with everything else in your life… and let’s face it, if you want to be successful a writer, you need to write. You need to write, and often, until you are so good at it, that someone says, “Man, we gotta publish that!” The other stuff, like watching less than averagely good looking guys wrestle alligators on television, randomly surfing the internet or creeping facebook… is the stuff that will not help your writing career – that stuff is the pebbles, the sand, the dirt. If you fill your jar with pebbles and dirt first – then there is no room for the stones.
They’re everywhere. You’ve seen them. You know who I mean.
They’ll be in a restaurant, furtively casting about for the sordid enablers of their habits: a pencil, a pen, a crayon from the kids’ activity box. Then begins the begging for something – the back of a receipt, a crumpled serviette – as long as it’s portable and papery, to write on.
Soon, not caring if there’s a conversation, a meal, a concert – completely and rudely oblivious – they will hunch over, head down, lips moving silently. They can’t help themselves; they’re addicted. [Read more…]
Let’s face it, if you are a writer, you WILL be rejected at least once in your life time… and if you are LUCKY, you will be rejected several times. Yes, you read it right, I said if you are lucky.
Being rejected is the first step to becoming a better writer.