Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Is taking things into her own hands (Writing 101)


The world of writing and publishing books is scary. I understand that and I haven't even submitted my first query. The literary world is chock full of reasons to keep your lights on at night and the covers pulled over your head, but for me the worst is the unknown. Like many aspiring authors I ask myself almost daily, “Is my writing really good enough?”

If I'm being completely honest with myself, I have to answer no.

So what's a gal to do? Cry in her Cheerios? Burn her notebooks? Absolutely not!

Just because I don't think I'm good enough right now in this very moment doesn't mean I can't be. If I really want to get better I have to be willing to put in the effort. It has to be about more than just practicing my craft; I have to actually work at it.

Throwing a basketball at the hoop won't make me a basketball player.  Pumping out words on my keyboard doesn't make me a writer. If I want to be a center forward for the Chicago Bulls (not likely since I'm only 4'10”) I need to know how to play basketball, then practice it. Likewise, if I want to be the next JK Rowling (Brandon Sanderson, fill-in-the-blank) I need to learn how to write and then do the writing.

Now, I don't want to give the wrong impression here. I know how to write. But I know there are things I could do better. Much better. Like what? Well, lots of things. So how are you going to get better? Good question. I'm glad you asked.

While I'd love to attend every web seminar, writer's conference and boot camp that catches my eye, my pocket book has it's limitations. I think most of these are very worthwhile, but there is a better (read: cheaper) option out there for folks like me who don't have the liquid funds available.

So here's the plan. Each week I will select an area of writing that I think I need to work on. I'll do some research through the web, the library and any other free/cheap resources I can. Then, I'll post my personal findings here. We can learn together.

Starting next week look for the first edition of my Writing 101 series. My focus will be the pesky transition. I hope you enjoy it!



Do you have areas of interest that you'd like to see covered in the series? What part of the writing process holds you back from finding publishing success. Let me know and I'll try to include it in the series.

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