Category Archives: tips for writers

Is it wrong to blame the horse?

I haven’t got as much writing done as I wanted to lately. Despite being prepared. A schedule was pinned up above my computer with an easy to understand time line for my editing, I had ample coffee, snacks, even organised the odd sleepover for my son, but then the horse arrived.

The horse is cute. A paint mare, who my neighbour suspects is pregnant – aw, even cuter. Her name is Lady Ga Ga. She is doing a champion job of mowing my lawn, and I’m filled to the brim with gratitude that I don’t have to be out there in the forty degrees heat cutting it myself.

In theory, this horse should be low maintenance. But I can’t help feel that she’d like an apple [she came inside the house on the weekend and took one herself], or to have her mane plaited. And I have to check that she has enough water, hay, love, pats.

Anyway, that’s my excuse. Not enough writing. Too much horse adoration.

But there’s always an excuse for not writing, isn’t there?

What’s yours today?

Advertisements

63 Comments

Filed under authors, books, editors, fiction, I should be editing right now, life, Reading, time wasters for editors, tips for writers, writers, Writing

Aspiring authors; make a pact.

I was visiting Ollin’s site, Courage to Create this morning, and remembered an important part of my journey towards publication. It happened a long time ago, took seconds, but I suspect it was a pivotal moment.

I’d joined a writing group. I think there were about ten of us; all keen and excited to be working on our manuscripts, looking for useful advice and hopefully some positive feedback and encouragement.

Slowly, the numbers dwindled.  Some left after a rejection from a publisher. Or because life can get hectic and writing can start to look like a self-indulgent hobby. For all kinds of reasons.

In the end, it was just me, and Stephen.  We were both passionate about writing, absolutely determined in our desire to improve our work and stubbornly fixed in our quest to find a publisher.  Over a glass of red wine one night we shook hands and made a pact.

To never quit. Not ever.

Not when the rejection letter came in. Not when we couldn’t see a way to write the ending or improve one of the sagging chapters in the middle.  Not when we read a brilliant book and feared we’d never be good enough to scrape the mud from this author’s boots.

We sent each other interesting articles on writing. {Thank you Ste for the McKee book} We commiserated when we got rejected. And celebrated the wins. We gave each other stern talkings-to if one of us wavered and wanted to quit.

And we did it.

The books we were originally working on when we met were put aside and we started new ones. We were working at different speeds, trying different approaches, contacting different publishers, writing different genres, but somehow, in a weird twist of fate, we somehow managed to have our novels come out in exactly the same month: June this year.

So, here’s my question, writing friends; who can you make a pact with? If no one comes to mind, then perhaps it’s time to reach out and find some like-minded literary types to connect with.

Then, once you have your buddy ready….

… just hold out your hand [virtually is fine too] and shake hands, and make the same pact Stephen and I did all those years ago.

To never quit. Not ever.

I wish you all success and joy along the way.

xxx

Lisa

43 Comments

Filed under authors, book launch, books, champagne, editors, fiction, I should be editing right now, opportunity for writers, Reading, red wine, reviews, tips for writers, writers, Writing

Stubborn is good

Driving home from school pick-up the other day, my son asked me if it was ever a good thing to be stubborn. I suspected someone had perhaps called him that, so I hesitated to give my first answer, which was no. I said, ‘yeah sure, perhaps sometimes.’ Fortunately, he didn’t expect any examples from  me, because at the time, I couldn’t think of any.

It occurred to me three days later,  as I sat stubbornly, like a pit bull, in front of my manuscript, daring the muse to  ignore me one more time, that being  stubborn, being bloody-minded, being aaarghh-I-will-do-this was a necessary trait for a writer.

Writers need to be not only determined and persistent, they need to be stubborn too. When the rejection slip comes in.  When you can’t write the ending. When the sun is shining and calls you outside. When your friend/partner/blog feels neglected. When cleaning the bathroom suddenly seems more appealing than writing dialogue.

Be stubborn.

Write.

35 Comments

Filed under blogging, books, fiction, I should be editing right now, tips for writers, writers, Writing

What is the most ridiculous number?

Answer: your age. Seriously, how many decisions do you make with that number echoing inside your head? Too old to take up an instrument? Or study? Or have a change of career? Too young to marry? Or settle down?

Once you hit 18 it’s time to throw that number away. Once you hit 18 you’re a grown up and your life is your own.

Change career. Move. Study medicine. Or archaeology. Write a book. Paint. Travel. Take up violin. Fall in love. Learn to ski/tango/meditate/fly/sing.

Do whatever you passionately want to do. Forget your age. It’s just a very silly number. A ridiculous number. An excuse.

There are no limits to who you can be unless you make it so.

59 Comments

Filed under art, authors, blogging, life, love, opportunity for writers, philosophy, poetry, silly challenges, tips for writers, weird stuff

The rules

In writing, there are many rules.  Rules are important, especially in the beginning, and can provide a safe structure for those learning the craft.

Rules are necessary to every art form.  In music, for example, hours are dedicated to scales and arpeggios. In art, shape and form are studied diligently. In dance, correct posture and technique is pressed into the body until it becomes second nature.

But one day, when these rules are absorbed, when they become familiar, they must be tossed aside if something unique is to emerge.

Consider the sound of your writing. Sometimes splitting the infinitive can have a better rhythm.  The odd adjective or adverb can add fullness to the sentence. Fragment sentences are not always evil.  Anything goes really.

The rules are simple: if it works, do it, if not, don’t.

3 Comments

Filed under authors, books, editors, fiction, life, music, tips for writers, Writing

Opportunity for Australian Writers

Here’s a great opportunity for Australian writers. The Victorian Premier’s Literary Award is on again.

Details at:
http://wheelercentre.com/calendar/event/victorian-premier-s-literary-awards

And another opportunity for me to show off my hyperlinking skills.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, literary competition, opportunity for writers, Reading, tips for writers, Uncategorized, Writing

What’s kale got to do with writing?

Nothing.  In fact, this post has nothing to do with writing, or kale.  It is simply an invitation to a certain editor to begin blogging.

Look, it’s easy.  If I can do it, anyone can.

Okay, I still can’t work out how to add pictures, and I can’t get sparkly letters like some of the other bloggers have done. I can’t archive the old posts, or change the colour scheme.

But I have discovered how to make hyperlinks and I promise you, there is no better rush than creating a hyperlink.

Here’s one now:  www.kale.com. I did that with no assistance.  There’s a little button with a picture of a chain link on it. Press that and off you go.  Linking everywhere!

What a rush.

So come on, A, sign up, link up. I double dare you.

x

Lisa

2 Comments

Filed under books, Reading, tips for writers, Uncategorized, Writing