Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tough Stuff: What It Takes to be a Writer

Whether you're twelve and dreaming of becoming of a writer, or you're twenty and just starting out, there are things all writers need to do, and needs they have in common.

To Do List:

1. Write.

I might be dating myself here, but has anyone seen Throw Mama From the Train (Billy Crystal)? Billy Crystal's character's favorite catchphrase was "Writer's write. ALWAYS." Whether you feel like it or not, you should write, right?

Yes, but that's not always going to happen. So besides writing, writers need to:

2. Have realistic expectations.

...of yourself and others. You're not always going to produce 1,000 words a day. Life happens. As far as others go, not everyone's going to understand you and your madly creative world, so cut them some slack. But remember to:

3. Be you!

Everyone has a unique voice, just waiting to be discovered. Don't sacrifice your writing on the altar of trends, crazes, "so-and-so writes such-and-such a way." You gotta do what works for you. But no matter what, do not forget to:

4. Rewrite, edit, revise, etc., etc., etc.

Everyone needs to. No exceptions to the rules here. Period.

5. Read.

It helps spawn new ideas, show you weaknesses in your own writing, etc.

Every writer needs...

1. Support. 

No man is an island. Join a writing circle, online or in person--or both! Or have some network of accountability and support set up.

2. Encouragement.

It's so easy to get discouraged and want to quit. That's where a support group comes in handy.

3. Constructive criticism.

It may hurt, but it's important to get an outside opinion...when you're ready.

What'd I miss? Have anything to add?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

National Children's Book Day

How am I just discovering that this is a holiday?

Anyway, want to celebrate? Here are some ideas to help you honor the day:

1. Read a children's book...
to your child/ren!
to your inner child!
2. Visit your local library
3. Give a bookstore your patronage: Buy a children's book
4. Support your favorite children's authors: Tweet/blog/Tumblr about their books

Here is a list of some pretty incredible children's books:

1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
2. Hank the Cow Dog (loved this series when I was younger)
3. The Boxcar Children series (ditto to the above)
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
5. Flipped
6. Goodnight, Moon
7. The Wednesday Wars
8. Okay for Now

I'd love to hear some of your favorite children's books. Also, are you doing anything special to celebrate the day? Let me us know in the comments below!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ding-Dong, the Book is FINISHED! ...Kinda

You may or may not have been following my new book's progress. I've been posting about it a lot on Critique Circle, Facebook, and Twitter. The good news? Draft one is FINISHED! *insert celebratory cake and drinks here* The great news? You won't have to hear anymore updates on it for two whole months. Now, that is something to celebrate.

Why two months, you ask? Why, I'm giving myself some time to get distance and perspective from the project. I've been working on it for over a year now. Time to work on something new for awhile. Then, in September, I'll tackle rewrites.

Thanks to all who've been encouraging/putting up with me!

Keep breathing,