Welcome to Our Write Mind. I hope you will explore the various pages. I would love to hear from you and am curious about what you would like to see discussed or what you would find helpful to you as a writer. My goal is to have new material available weekly. My best wishes to you as we explore the writing profession. Dara

Friday, January 26, 2007

So You Want To Be A Writer...

Most of us set out with a romanticized idea of what a writer is, winning awards, hob-nobbing with the rich and famous, book signings with lines of fans out the door, insanely large advances, and plots and words pouring from our soul effortlessly. Then we sit down and attempt to write our first great American novel, nothing comes or what does is rubbish. How did this happen? What now? Where do I start? These are all things most of us have experienced. I thought it would be helpful to share some insights I have garnered from my writing life.

First, a bit of my history… I went through a period of total self-doubt. I have been writing stories since I was a kid. I was a very active, somewhat gangly kid. I have always been curious. I loved exploring anything and everything. Books became my solace when others teased me; they also provided an outlet for my insatiable desire for mystery and adventure. I truly had plans to become an Air Force fighter pilot (like my Dad) or a Navy SEAL. Unfortunately, early in my life, my dreams were squashed. I lived in an era where young girls were encouraged to be teachers, nurses, or wives. Not that there is anything wrong with those life choices, but I wanted more.

I devoured books on many eclectic subjects. My favorite subjects were science and math. Yet again, girls were not supposed to like those subjects, so I turned to books. I read books on science, math and geography. I love the mystery and adventure of far away places and how things work. I read probably two biographies a week, too. In addition, you guess it; my favorite works of fiction were mysteries.

How is this relevant to our current writing? A common piece of advice is to write what you know. Sounds simple, but it can be more complicated. I know a fair amount about non-fiction material, but you have to be able to share the info with others without talking down to them, particularly if writing for children; and not be preachy, teachy, either. We can come away looking aloof. With fiction, it can be trickier; we have to make it believable, but entertaining and captivating.

So how does one walk this tightrope? I wish I had a magic wand, potion, or formula, but I do not. I can tell you the first thing we must do is being willing to fail, because we will. We all feel devastated when the first rejection letter arrives. After a few, we usually start doubting our abilities, and feel that everyone who reads our work will soon know we are a fraud. I used to ask my husband, “Who in their right mind would believe I am a writer? They all know I’m a fraud, right?” Fortunately, we had been married long enough, he knew better than to answer those two questions.

So what should we do first? I have found planning is the key. Over the next few weeks, I hope to share some ideas, which have worked for others and me. For now, try writing everyday. I know some people cannot, but even if you write for 15 minutes a day, it is practice. Practice leads to accomplishment, in whatever you practice.

I am learning to play the guitar; if I do not practice, I am certain I will not succeed in playing songs. Trust me, I have healthy skepticism friends will not be able to distinguish what I play as a song even with my practice. With that aside, I do encourage you to write.

Finally, realize other writers do like to hear of your success. It gives them the opportunity to have hope they too will succeed. And with some of us, it may even be … “Well, if she (he) can get published then I know I can!” LOL Seriously, know most writers will be our best resource, even before our family and friends. The ones closest to us tend to tell us what we want to hear.

My challenge for us today is to write for 15 minutes, and commit to paper what our writing goals are for the next 3 months, 6 months, year, 5 years, and 10 years. We will not worry how silly we think they are… dream big! We will discuss goals next time.

Remember we are in our write mind.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Brand New Blogger

I have tried blogging in the past, but mainly for fun and to stay in touch with family and friends. This is my first attempt as a professional blogger. I plan on sharing my experiences and info about our writing profession. Writing is a tough business, definitely not for the faint of heart. With diligence and hard work, we can succeed.

As we progress through the next months, you will see new things develop. I want to offer writing quotes to inspire and ponder. I plan on providing writing tips, hints, and writing prompts shared with me. I also have plans to link us to professional sites and resources.

My goal is to develop a blog we can share with each other....and support our write mind.

Keep writing,