Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Writers Must Write

I've known a lot of people like this, too. They join writers groups but seldom bring anything to read. They prefer talking about the writing world and listening to other people's writing. They dream about the day they will write that smash hit book. They immerse themselves in all things 'writing' but seldom make time or give the effort it takes to actually do the writing. 

This sounds harsh, and perhaps it is. But it does happen far more than you might think. There is nothing wrong in being interested in the literary world and wanting to be around writers. The only wrong thing is if you proclaim yourself to be a writer and then seldom put words on paper (or screen!). 

Why does this happen? I think one reason is fear. What if I am no good? What do I do if I start selling my work? How do I follow up with more? What if someone laughs at what I've written? What if the others in the group tear my story to pieces? These are real fears and a good many people have felt them at some time or other. 

I'm great at giving myself mental lectures. It's easy. Try telling yourself that very few writers are great successes in the early years. We learn through our errors. If I'm in a writing group and they are constantly pointing out my overlong sentences, what I need to do is listen and start writing shorter sentences. If one critique after another mentions that I constantly repeat words, I should check everything for repetitiveness when I edit. If the critiquers tell me that I'm mixing up my tenses throughout the story, it's up to me to check it in the editing process. The main thing is that I learn from what is pointed out. The trick here is to be sure to listen to your own lecture. 

To be a writer, you must write, you need to be willing to have others critique your work. Whether it is in a group or just a buddy writer, find someone to look at what you've written. It's the best way to grow your skill as a writer. 

OK, today I've pushed you about writing something, not just thinking about it. Here's a picture prompt to get you started. You know the drill. Study the picture and start writing. Write whatever comes to mind. Later, you can go back and expand, edit, revise or whatever. But for now, just write!

Staring at sea Free Photo

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