I was ‘tagged’ by Kelly Metz to come up with 5 things I’ve learned this year, and although I don’t quite have a year under my belt…this is what I’ve learned so far.
KEEP LEARNING, EXPLORING, RESEARCHING AND IMPROVING
It’s a constant learning experience to write. All the work involved in writing consists of learning things to make your story plausible, exploring all the avenues that your story can or might take, researching all the information to make your story credible, and improving your skills as you write. I find I have to keep improving and making my work better so I can grow as a writer.
Being part of a writing group is something I’ve found has helped me tremendously. During these past several months, I can see improvement in my writing because my critique group in the OWG have been there for me, providing suggestions and criticisms on every piece of my work, and I value their input and use it and remember it. This is a learning experience and has shown me how to make my writing better. I trust my critique group and have found them honest and open in their opinions and ideas. Sometimes it stings a little. We are emotionally vested in our own writing, and our critique partners are not, consequently it can be a hard pill to swallow-hearing that your work needs much improvement. But if you trust your partners, you learn from it and you can perfect your writing skills and storytelling. I’ve found this has been one of the greatest gifts this year-fantastic critique partners, especially Anna, who works with me on every piece I write. She’s honest, funny, witty, supportive, encouraging, and she has a brilliant mind. She’s a wonderful crit partner.
Joining a writing group has been the biggest inspiration for me. Posting my writing and receiving critiques has helped tremendously in becoming better at my craft. Also, critiquing was new to me, but I enjoy reading other people’s work and it also serves to help me know what works and what doesn’t. I now seem to do so many crits off the board, that I know it takes away from my writing, but I don’t mind helping others out when asked. I guess when I ask for a favor back, to read over something of mine, I won’t feel so guilty asking. So, all around it’s all a great experience in every way that has to do with writing. The support, (Danni welcomed me so easily and has been so helpful right from the start)the camaraderie, the chats, the information, the posts for contests and information, and pretty much everything in the writing group enhances our goal to become better and more proficient and develop our skills. I love the group and feel it’s a place where I can be myself with my writing and share and interact with other people that have very similar goals. There are so many people that I really enjoy working with and have gone above and beyond to provide extra help…all of my group 5 members, Danni, Cat, Kelly, BW, and Misty for making me a gorgeous banner. Playing Family Feud with Dani, Sofy, and Misty off the board is also fun. If I’ve missed anyone, it’s not on purpose because everyone helps in one way or another. It’s one of the most important moves I’ve made this past year, and one that I’m extremely grateful for.
DON’T GIVE UP
Write your story. Send it out. And if your story isn’t accepted at one publisher, try somewhere else. Everyone is looking for something different and even though I was determined to find a home for my ‘necro’ story and found other places to send it, I had the desire to see it published. And I’m a determined person. It was Seleste that said, “You only need to persist one more time than you are rejected.” This was very good advice. Other OWG people said similar things. The support is fantastic! Keep trying. If you think your story is good enough, maybe someone else will also.
Writing is a learned skill, just like athletics and playing an instrument. The more you do it, the better you become. I have found writing everyday has helped strengthen my writing skills and develop storylines easier. There are times where I get frustrated because I can’t write everyday as much as I’d like. Family and ‘things’ sometimes take precedence over my writing and although it’s unfortunate…that’s life. With 3 teens, a bf, 2 dogs, 2 ailing parents and siblings that constantly call for a chat or help with a pc problem, it’s a tough business juggling everything. I’d love nothing better than to sit and write all day long with the odd break in between, but then I hear the familiar thoughts in my head beckoning me to finish the laundry or start dinner so I’m not neglecting my other responsibilities. I’m hoping this will change soon now that everyone is back to school and my days will be my own. I still have all those responsibilities but just because I don’t work full time doesn’t mean my day isn’t full of other things. I think I’m going to try and set ‘blocks’ of time aside for writing and unless a ‘crisis’ comes up…work during those designated blocks.
In all, I’ve learned a great deal, and I continue to learn everyday, and I love that. There are so many things I’m thankful for and especially the wonderful people in OWG who understand and can relate to what I and all the rest of us go through and the support is always there, no matter what. THANKS! And thanks for tagging me Kelly; it gave me a blog for this week, hehe! :)
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