Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Truth Tuesday--5 Truths For Writers

Yep! It's Tuesday. Let's call it Truth Tuesday this week. It's time for us all to be true to ourselves as we pursue our writing journey. Do any of the following Truths fit you? Are there others that might be added to this list?

Truth #1:

Do you ever try to fool yourself into thinking you're a good enough writer without continuing to learn more about this business? When I started teaching, I was surprised when I had to attend in-service meetings on a regular basis to continue learning more about my chosen profession. A new college graduate often steps into the first job thinking they are well-trained after 4 years of college. I figured out pretty quickly that those college years gave me a base to build on, no more. It's no different with writers. Learn a little as a base and then keep adding knowledge as you move along. Are you ever finished? I don't think so. We can always learn something new.

Truth #2:

Do you have lots of valid excuses for not submitting your work for publication? Or are you not submitting because you're afraid of rejection? Afraid you might find out you aren't good enough to be a published writer? Or because you know you can do better if you put more effort into your writing? We often make up reasons to avoid doing something--like submitting--because it's easier than admitting to the truth.

Truth #3:

When you get a negative critique of your work, do you become defensive and ignore the suggestions given by the person who did the critique? If you want to succeed in your chosen field of writing, you will need to be open to suggestions from other writers. You don't have to agree with everything they tell you but give real consideration to what they point out. Especially if several people find the same trouble spot. Then you know you must work on that area.

Truth #4:

When there is a deadline to meet, do you procrastinate and then have to do a rush job? If you own up to this one, you are your own worst enemy. In many of my posts here, I urge writing more than one draft and I suggest that you let that first draft simmer a few days before you revise and edit to create another draft. Maybe even a third one. Guess what? That takes time, and if you wait too long, you write in a hurry and it's not going to be your best effort. As a beginning writer, I was always excited when I finished a story and wanted to send it out immediately. I hadn't learned the benefit of taking time and writing more than one draft. When I did, it proved to be beneficial.

Truth #5:

Do you avoid writing groups because they take up too much time? Or do you turn away from them for fear of being judged harshly? Or do you fear that your work might not measure up to others in the group? Maybe several in the group feel the same way you do. What everyone needs to do is to remember that the group purpose is to help one another. It's to continue learning this craft. No one likes to be judged unfairly but when it's done with the spirit of helping you become a better writer, how can you fault it? Take a deep breath and join a writing group. Someday, you'll be glad that you did.

I don't like to say that we lie to ourself but we do tend to avoid the truth sometimes. Be honest in evaluating your working habits. Make a list of places in your writing life where you could use some improvement. Keep it somewhere that is visible so it serves as a regular reminder. It may be more comfortable to avoid the truth in your wriitng life but if you face it head-on, you'll reap the benefits as time goes on.

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