Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Monday, May 16, 2016
Neil Gaiman said, "There's no magic formula. To become a competent writer, you write until you start to sound like you, and then you keep on writing. Finish things you start. Get better."
2. View life from different perspectives.
Douglas Clegg said, "Get out and live and travel and see the world from perspectives other than the one with which you've been saddled. Youth doesn't last very long, and it might be better to participate in life awhile before writing from it."
3. Write one page at a time.
John Steinbeck said, "When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me and I know I can never do it. This happens every time. Then gradually I write one page and then another. One day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate and I eliminate the possibility of ever finishing."
4. Strive for vigorous writing.
William Strunk, Jr. said, "Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts."
5. Be vigilant and ever ready.
Earl Nightingale said, "Ideas are elusive, slippery things. Best to keep a pad of paper and a pencil at your bedside, so you can stab them during the night before they get away."
6. Develop your own writing voice.
Michael Chabon said, "A voice, not merely recognizable, but original, unique, engaging and above all derived from, reflecting, and advancing the meaning of the story itself, is necessary to good and worthwhile literature."
7. Write with confidence.
William Zinsser said, "Don't say you were a bit confused and sort of tired and a little depressed and somewhat annoyed. Be tired. Be confused. Be depressed. Be annoyed. Don't hedge your prose with little timidities. Good writing is lean and confident."
8. Develop a writing habit.
Richard North Patterson said, "Cultivate steady work habits: a schedule that contemplates either regular work hours every week or a certain number of pages. Artistic inspiration is one of the most overrated premises for a writing schedule; a writer should try to get pages done on a regular basis, then work to improve them. If one waits for inspiration, rather than treating writing like a serious task, it becomes much harder to ever finish a book."
9. Write right now.
Jack London said, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
10. Venture out and attempt to be read and published.
John Campbell said, "The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home."
11. Rejection is part of the writing life.
Meg Cabot said, "You are not a hundred dollar bill. Not everyone is going to like you or your story. Do not take rejection personally."
12. Write with passion.
Ann Patchett said, "The end result for a writer may be finding a publisher, but publishing is not anywhere near the beginning or the middle of this process. So when we advise young people about writing, it would be best if we could move students away from that kind of thinking and say, 'Write because you're passionate about it. Think of yourself as a glass blower. You don't blow your first glass and take it to Tiffany's. You blow your first glass, and you smash it. You blow it again, and you smash it.'"
Copyright (c) 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
Sunday, May 15, 2016
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Monday, May 9, 2016
1. Make your goals achievable.
By achievable, we mean realistic and attainable. You might unconsciously have set a goal even others will have a hard time achieving, even if they had the means and the time to do so.
Here's what you can do: break down your goals into small, realistic goals set against reasonable time frames. Oftentimes, you'll achieve your bigger goals if you work on achieving the smaller goals leading to those. The important thing is that your make your goals as realistic and as achievable as you can.
2. Believe in your abilities.
Success hugely depends on one and only one person -- you. So, do you believe enough in yourself and in what you can do to achieve your goals? Self-doubt is your biggest adversity and the biggest obstacle on your way to success. Is it possible you lost focus of your goals because you have unconsciously set aside having to deal with your self-doubts?
3. Devise a feasible plan.
You know what you want, but do you know how to get what you want? Do you need technical or artistic training to achieve your goals? Or perhaps further studies? Do you have a set plan of action that will lead to the achievement of your goals? What things, both tangible and intangible, do you need to aid you in reaching your goals?
Take a moment to sit down and list the things you need and make your plan of action. This is a good time to break them down into small, realistic goals and then tackle them one day at a time!
4. Resist spreading yourself too thinly.
Sometimes, it's better to work on one goal at a time, rather than doing and shooting for so many all at the same time. Work on so many goals at one given time and you'll find out you're nowhere near achieving even one goal. You won't be able to focus your full energy on one goal.
Prioritize your goals and start with either your top priority or your most realistic goal. You'll discover you're able to do more and achieve more using this approach.
5. Don't be easily disheartened.
Along with believing in your ability to achieve your goals, this is the second most important thing you need to do. Yes, you do the steps necessary to achieve your goals, but after one or two failures, do you give up and stop trying?
Persistence and patience are the keys to achieving your goals and eventually success. Always remember that it's very rare for people to achieve total success or attain their goals on the first try. If they did, there'll be no need to build self-confidence, patience and persistence.
Now that you've read these five tips, start your way to attaining your writing goals today!
Copyright (c) 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Monday, May 2, 2016
I don't believe in luck. I don't subscribe to the idea that successful people get to where they are because they happened to be "at the right place at the right time." They're successful because they stick their necks out and give more than what others wanting the same thing they do are willing to give. They find ways to achieve what they want, accomplish what they want to accomplish. When there aren't opportunities, they create the opportunities. When they fail for the thousandth time, they can't wait to try again.
Now apply all the above to writers. Talent is nothing if you don't have the guts to do what you need to do to accomplish your goals. If your goal is to be published, then you have to do what it takes to get published, and that involves a lot of hard work -- from honing your craft, reading, studying the markets, submitting your work, accepting the rejections and submitting again.
In my view, a persistent writer is better than a talented writer who does nothing. The persistent writer is the one who gets published. She's the one who eventually becomes "big" or well known in her chosen writing genre.
Successful writers like Stephen King, JK Rowling and Erich Segal didn't get to where they are through luck. I'm willing to bet they spent thousands of hours honing their craft. They aren't untouchables; they didn't breeze through the top with nary a rejection hiding somewhere in their drawers. They did the things aspiring and beginning writers should do if they want to realize their goals -- the successful writers picked up their pens, wrote, submitted their works, treated rejections as a part of the writing life, wrote again, submitted again, got rejections again, wrote some more, submitted some more, and so on.
Instead of idolizing successful writers, an aspiring or beginning writer is better off emulating them. I think it's dangerous for an aspiring writer to idolize a successful writer. Why? She's putting the successful writer on a god-like status, unconsciously lowering herself in the process. Emulation, on the other hand, is different; it's positive, constructive. By emulating the successful writer, the aspiring writer sets a goal for herself -- that is, to be the successful writer's equal, or to attain the level of the success the successful writer has achieved. In this regard, the aspiring writer gives herself a goal -- a purpose -- to want to become the best she can be as a writer.
Commitment, too, is a big part of the writing life, and writers become successful when they are committed to their craft. Commitment is regularly showing up to write; it's never missing a date with your notebook, typewriter or computer; it's sifting through feedback (or critiques) and making intelligent decisions regarding your work; it's developing the thick skin for rejections; it's keeping an open mind and reading not only what you like; and above all, it's keeping the passion for writing burning, and feeding it...even if it's only for as short as five minutes a day.
So...are you ready to become a successful writer?
Copyright (c) 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
Shery created WriteSparks! - a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks! Lite for free - http://writesparks.com
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Join Marsha Casper Cook on May 3 at 4PM EST 3 PM CST 2 PM MT 1PMPST when her guests will be Jo Jo Crockett and William Maltese on a Good Story Is A Good Story.
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