So, if you weren’t at last night’s James River Writers Writing Show, you really missed a good one.
But for those that were not able to make it, I will try to decipher my notes
[note to self: my favorite pen NEEDS a new refill!]
but I think I’ve been able to decipher my ink scrawls and skips.
It was a surprising but incredibly interesting panel:
Dr. Rashida Gray did a great job as moderator.
Some of the tidbits of wisdom from last night’s Writing Show include:
Have fun with your writing.
Find the right audience for your writing.
Let go of preciousness.
Don’t get caught up on everything being perfect. Or having to be perfect.
Figure out how to transform jealously at others accomplishments / success / having what you want, into incentive for something you can do to get what they have. Put it out there. Encourage it to happen for you.
Get help and support.
How to determine you are successful - depends on where you are.
[And my note to this - since this is my blog and I can, it also depends an awful lot on what you consider success / successful.]
Michael Sullivan talked about discovering Scrivener software and really liking it for organizing his writing.
[I’ve used Scrivener software for quite a while and I am Crazy about it! It’s Great writing software. It’s Great organizing software, for organizing Anything, and Everything! It is a Great software package.]
Readers are more forgiving with books / writing - writers tear it apart.
If you want to fix your writing, ask a writer. If you want to know if your writing is any good, ask a reader.
Michael Sullivan said there’s a lot more pressure on you when you’re published.
If you are stuck / blocked, there were several suggestions - one was to write with opposite hand, type with your eyes closed. It was noted you’ll probably get interesting typos. Get out from where you are and go somewhere different. Michael Sullivan goes for walks - by himself, since he not only talks to himself, he asks himself questions, and answers them.
Get your needs met.
[My extra note here, I’ve done blog post/posts on this before, Put the oxygen mask on Yourself first before you try to help others.]
Take care of yourself.
Write down your dreams. It can be very helpful. Dr. Sheorn says she dreams her art complete and then she figures out what she needs to complete it.
Trust that Random things mean something.
An interesting observation, when Noah was talking about his book 365: A Daily Creativity Journal
Being creative / doing something creative Every day, he talked about sometimes they were good, sometimes they were okay, sometimes they were just done.
I noticed he never said what most people would have said - some were bad, or terrible. An interesting thought on how to think of yourself and your work, huh.
One thing I’ve learned from hearing best-selling authors talk, from last night’s Writing Show panelist Michael J. Sullivan to JRW friend and author Steve Berry, it Really helps to have a smart wife.
Since I don’t have a smart wife, luckily I do have a smart husband. From hanging around with writers for so long he’s been infected…er,…he’s caught….he’s come up with some story ideas that he is exploring and researching and writing on. This is one of the great sites he’s come across. And it really answers the question that was asked by Marina [one of JRWs great and lovely writers / supporters] at the February Writing Show.
So Marina this is for you.
And for those writing historical fiction [or perhaps non-fiction even], since I was lucky enough to moderate a couple of panels at last year’s JRW Conference, I got to post some great resources from some great authors. See my prev. Blog posts.
See this one and ones around it:
Another thing I’ve learned and was mentioned briefly last night - it’s all subjective. Depends on what kind of mood you catch people in sometimes.
Which, think about it, as a reader most people I know choose a book to read based on their mood at the time.
And some people, like me, have a couple, or more, books going at the same time, dipping into as the mood dictates.
Agents, publishers, etc… are just people too.
So the main thing is to keep at it.
As I’ve heard advice from some other writers, at other times, if you can do something else, do it. Writing is not for the faint of heart. Or for people that have a choice of whether they write or not.
So if you have to do it, just keep at it, keep learning and keep getting better.