First, a very warm welcome to new readers. I don’t post very often as life and The Novel have pushed blogging to a back burner.
It’s been over two months since I finished the first draft of Wisdom, Light and Darkness, and over a month since I’ve done any serious work on it. I had deluded myself into thinking it was a pretty decent first draft, but a few friendly critiques have shown me the error of my thinking. Oh, and how…
In August, I attended the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, Oregon, and was treated to some wonderful classes on editing. Some of the things I learned there, I hope to share with you in the coming months.
However, tonight I’m focused on my own writing journey—what I’ve learned this past year. A year which saw the high of finishing a first draft and the low of learning how completely awful it was. As well as the realization of how much work still needed to be done… Throughout my journey, I’ve kept lists of what I’ve learned so far, and I thought I’d share them with you. I’m still making these lists because I’m still learning. For me, these ‘light bulb’ moments have made learning my craft a delight.
So here’s my first list. The one I wrote when I was half way done with WL&D.
Things I’ve learned so far:
- There will be days when nothing comes. Just do your best...research, revise, reevaluate.
- Showing up every day, gets the job done...even if it’s only one page or one paragraph at a time.
- Keep notes. Character lists for name spellings, timelines, dates, etc. It’s easier to find a note than the exact passage in the manuscript. Word 'notebook view' does this very well.
- The find and replace function is invaluable. Know how to use it.
- Sometimes your brain needs a 3 minute break...great time to floss your teeth, so keep floss handy.
- Nothing is better at combating your favorite word than a good thesaurus or my personal favorite, a flip dictionary.
- You can never be too busy to stop and kiss a boo boo, or hug your child.
- There is always more to learn...read and learn from those who have gone before you.
- Writers are weird. (If you’ve ever been to a writing conference, you know what I mean.) Embrace your inner weirdness…but don’t forget to shower on occasion.
- The right music, and a beautiful smelling candle, do wonders for setting the scene.
How about you? Where are you in your journey? What have you learned?