Monday, January 26, 2009

7 Wonders of my Writing World

I'm a little short on time this week (ie, things are crazy in my world) so I am re-posting a blog I wrote back in 2007 for Writer's Rest (I'm no longer a contributing author but it's a really great blog. I encourage you to check it out). Anyway, I chose this one because my 11-year-old daughter is currently learning about the 7 Wonders of Africa and the 7 Wonders of the World. So I thought this would be appropriate today.

So, using the letters in WONDERS, I'll give you seven that are most definitely part of MY writing world.

W - WORDS - Duh, right? Words are definitely a huge part of my writing world. Without them, I would be out of this world...groan... But, you know? We writers LOVE words. Play on words, word phrasing, definition, crossword puzzles, word searches, Text Twist, Letter Linker, Book Worm (yes, I am a recovering junkie!). But I suppose that because words are so much a part of my life, I'd better love them.

More importantly, I love to dig into THE WORD, which gives me strength, encouragement and hope every day - particularly on those difficult days when I wonder if I should banish words altogether from my world.

O - ORIGINALITY - This basically translates into creativity. Is my writing fresh and original? Or does it feel stale and blah? Story formulas may have the same components but am I adding them to the mix in a way that's not been done before? Or does my story sound a little too much like the author's I read last week? Creative ideas are everywhere. This is my absolute favorite part of my writing world.

N - NETWORKING - Let's face it; in today's world, writers need to network. Personally, I think it's fun! Introducing myself to other authors, commenting on agent's and editor's blogs, joining groups and loops, getting my name out there so when my book does come out, people will say, "I've heard that name before!" And guess what? You may not realize it, but I'm networking right now. hee hee...sometimes you've got to be sneaky about these things...

D - DISCIPLINE - I may love words, but this is my least favorite one. Probably because I am so NOT. Forcing myself to sit in a chair and just write is painful for me. Once I'm there, I'm fine. Time slips away and I crank out those pages. But getting there...that's the biggie. Especially when I'm taunted by laundry, emails, blogs, and reality TV. So I may have to work extra hard to keep discipline a part of my writing world, but it'll be worth the effort.

E - EDITS - Sigh. What would my writing life be without edits? big mess of grammatical errors and plot holes? Pretty much. Not to mention my published writing life would be non-existent. Yes, editing is a part of the writing world, like it or not. But what a feeling when you see the results of those changes. It's like taking a wrinkled shirt from the dryer and running a hot iron over it. Presto! The haphazardness has been transformed into sleek and put-together. I wouldn't wear a wrinkled shirt any more than I would send out a non-edited piece of work.

Okay...I better stop here. All this talk about ironing is bringing on thoughts of attacking that huge pile in my laundry room. And we all know about my battle with discipline...

R - RESEARCH - My second least favorite word. Some authors love research but I'm not one of them. I'd rather stick with the creative part of writing. But that isn't realistic. Even in the most fluffy of fiction, there is bound to be some research required. In the novel I just finished, I did research on South Haven, Michigan, music of the eighties, civil suits, day spas, and much more. If I want my readers to believe what I'm telling them, I'll need to do the research. There's no way around it. Bleh.

S - SLEEP - Sleeping on the job? I see those fingers wagging. But it's true! I find I do my best writing when I'm well-rested and refreshed. I get up very early (before 4:00 this morning) and do my best writing then. If I try to come up with something when I'm tired and irritable, frankly, my work stinks. And then I have to go back to the edit part of my world a little more frequently. The more polished my work is up front, the less time I'll need to spend on editing, and the faster my book will be on its way to that agent.

Sometimes my manuscript could also use some sleep. Setting it aside for a few days is often the wisest thing to do. Or sometimes putting it to sleep is even better. Some things I've written were born for the shredder or a dark and lonely file drawer. Shudder.

So what about you? What words would you use to describe your writing life?


Jules said...

"So what about you? What words would you use to describe your writing life?" I think you've pretty much covered it. Unlike you I love research and editing, but am not too hot on the networking and originality. Isn't it great that we're all so different?
Blessings, Jules

Dara said...

I love networking! I didn't always but once I started, it quickly became addicting. I think I also get lost in the research process because I find everything is so interesting. And there's a lot of research entailed when writing historical fiction!

I struggle with discipline and with edits. I get extremely picky in the editing process. And of course I'm not the most disciplined person.

Darlene said...

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Now, the way the “When Life Gives You Lemons, make Lemonade” Award (for short, The Lemonade Award) works is:

1) You must link back to the person you received the award from.
2) You have to nominate 10 bloggers who are deserving of this award!

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Patty Wysong said...

LoL--loved this! It was a fun read, loaded with truth, reality and personality. Great one, Lynda!!