Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday's Writer's Tip -- Finding time

Being published overnight doesn't happen often. What it takes is practice, persistence and professionalism. Maybe I'll go backwards. Professionalism is listening to the editors who may comment on what you've written and make suggestions for changes to make the writing better. Some writers believe that everything they've written is perfect and no one should suggest a change. I've written scenes that I feel don't work. In the early days I'm glad I was able to be advised by editors who made suggestions on how the scene could be fixed. Then one day a light bulb flashed and I looked at a scene I knew wasn't working and I knew what to do. Now this took time to learn. Probably 20 years. Some people are slow learners.

But another thing was persistence. The first book I sold was revised 17 times. This was a learning process and from those helpful editor comments I learned. What would have happened if I'd not been persistent. But persistence can also harm. A writer can work persistently on a story and work it over and over again and never really make the needed changes. So persistence can be a good use of a writer's time or it can be a waste of time.

Now to practice. A writer needs time to learn their craft. This can be difficult when he or she has a job and a family. The one thing to do is to set yourself a goal of writing for the week. Don't think in thousands of words but in hours per week. Say three hours a week oreven start with one hour a week. This time can be divided into smaller segments or it can be done in a whole block of time. Now that can be hard when one has children wanting things or husbands or wives needing time. But one can find ways to take that time. It may mean giving up something. Say every week you watch some TV program that runs an hour. Consider giving it up to write. Put the Idol or the soap opera aside. Fine creative ways to gain your hour or your fifteen minutes. Remember that the more you write, the easier it will become.

If you really want to succeed it takes practice, persistence and professionalism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Advice both new and established writers always need to hear.