What perfect timing for this reminder since November is NaNoWriMo and many of you are diligently producing word count daily. Not me. No, I'm still trying to work my way out of a writer's slump. I write a few hundred words and lose interest, so I hop over to another story and fiddle with it for a while. Yup, I'm in a funk...and the migraines aren't helping. So I thought I'd take some time to read books on craft, refresh my zeal for writing and maybe learn some things along the way. You see, I'm hoping to re-energize my writerly soul. So I'm sharing some facts I'm rediscovering.
I'm calling them Vonnie's Half-Dozen.
1. Think like a professional. Writing is an art. Publishing is a business. To present anything less than your best to an agent or editor is like shooting yourself in the foot. Editors are too busy to hold your hand and teach you. If you send them a manuscript that requires few edits on their end, your story looks more appealing to them than one with some technical or grammar issues. Learn your craft. Learn it so well it becomes second nature to you.
3. Call writing what it is. WORK! Give your labor the dignity of a title. Tell yourself you have to work now, even if you can only carve out thirty minutes from the kids, the housework and the outside job to write. If you respect your craft with a title--work--it makes it easier for your family to eventually see it that way, too. Take this piece of advice from a person who has fifty years experience at finding excuses not to write. I started writing at the age of eleven, but there was homework, then dating, then marriage, babies, kids growing up, mom's taxi service, a full-time job, college...oh, the list was endless. Until I turned sixty-two and Calvin took me by the arm, led me into the little bedroom where my computer desk occupied a wall and pointed to the chair. "Sit. Write. Make magic happen."
4. Write for yourself, not the market. Write what you love to read. Because here's the thing, if you write what's in vogue now, by the time you edit it a couple times, have it beta-read, tweak it some more and send it off, more than likely the topic has faded in popularity or the market might simply be saturated with this particular trope. "Gee, I like your writing, but we just contracted a book about this very topic last week. We don't need another." Write what you like to read. Then your passion will shine through and make your story magical.
I want to be the best writer I can be. Then work toward that goal.
So these half-dozen truths are my goals to conquer. What are your goals? Do you have any writing tips to add to the list?