Monday, May 23, 2011

Thinking Out Loud

Writing isn't easy. If anyone told you it was, they lied.

To wit, a plethora of quotes on just how easy writing isn't.

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.
~Terri Guillemets

Every writer I know has trouble writing. ~Joseph Heller

When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.
~Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
~Gene Fowler

But when it comes down to it, a writer can't help themselves---we have to write:
It is impossible to discourage the real writers - they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write. ~Sinclair Lewis

So,without pulling any punches, are you a writer or are you whiner? Do you want it enough to write, submit, take the rejections and start the process all over again? Try and fail, but don't fail to try. ~ Stephen Kaggwa.

Being a writer is not the best thing in the world for the ego. You create a masterpiece---the most brilliant work of art to ever flow from human fingers to a keyboard. Never have any words been more inspired or more poignant. Angels wept as you created your work of art and rightfully so. With a trembling sigh, you send it to your critique partner---a writer you connected with on some board somewhere on the internet, or someone you met a local writer's meeting.

And this totally ignorant, soulless individual proceeded to rip your baby apart. Brutally. Suggested you might try looking up the rules about commas, maybe. And while you're doing that, check out how many different ways there are to vary sentence structure. After that, you might want to consider removing half a million adverbs and sticking to one POV per paragraph. But, they add at the end, "If you kick up the conflict and layer in a few more details, you're on your way."

Obviously, morons abound. Your work is perfect. Stunning. Thrilling. Evocative. Exciting. Fresh. You know this because your mother said so. (Um...Mother's are predisposed to love anything and everything their children create. Well, within reason. For example, I don't love the stink my sons are capable of creating in the car when they have Passing Contest.)

The key is to be open-minded. Teachable. Willing and able to hear the honest truth about your work and willing to apply these honestly truthful suggestions to your story. Learn. Grow. Write. Pinnacles are awesome to achieve, but stagnate when they turn into plateaus. You have to have a hunger for this, a thirst---for more than the occasional strawberry margarita---and the desire to strive for that next pinnacle.

If you want it badly enough, it's likely you're nodding and agreeing with a few things I've said. If you don't want it badly enough, you're calling me a moron who has no clue---after all, what could I possibly know? I'm not published any more due to my e-publisher closing doors, nor have I sent anything out lately. That last part isn't because I stopped writing. It's because I've got my eye on the next pinnacle and I'm applying some honestly truthful suggestions to my writing. When it's ready, I'll send it out. But until it's done, I can't send it out into the world wearing a chocolate milk 'stache beautifully complemented by uncombed hair, body odor, and wearing holey sweats and a faded t-shirt. I want my efforts to soar and I want to look back and say, "I did my best. I didn't quit. I didn't fail to try."

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~Tuesday Writing Prompt~~*~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

Pick something your critique partner has mentioned you could improve in your writing, or something an editor has said in a rejection letter to you and go find 3 online articles that address your bugaboo. Make a list of tips that resonate with you---suggestions you found most helpful---and dive back into that WIP, armed to do battle. This doesn't have to be shared, this is personal for you.


Angie the Hippo said...

EXACTLY Laura! I was nodding my head in agreement as I was reading everything you said.

Laura Hamby said...

:D Glad you enjoyed it, Angie.