A Perfect Day for Writers
In one of the exercises in my "Getting Started as a Freelance Writer" workshop, I ask participants to describe what a "perfect day" would be like for them.
The responses are frequently tender, wistful and unfailingly vivid. Those who've taken my course write about waking up first thing in the morning, refreshed and filled with anticipation for what their "perfect day" holds in store. They paint lush and lovely surroundings with their words, serve up exquisite foods, and spend endearing or romantic time with loved ones. They describe feelings of peace and deep contentment, so often lacking in their day to day realities.
But what invariably surprises me is that these writers seldom include time to write in their "perfect day" narratives. Nor do they mention that such a day would include the thrill of opening their mailboxes to find acceptance letters or checks for something they've written. What I had thought would be an exercise that would enable workshop participants to visualize writing as an integral part of their lives, generally turns out to have nothing to do with writing whatsoever.
Not that I'm criticizing--there are no right or wrong responses to these writing exercises. I simply wonder whether placing such a low priority--or none at all--on writing as part of one's "perfect day" is a reason for lack of writing success. In other words, do people truly dream of being writers, or simply dream of what writing might bring them--fame, fortune, freedom--while skipping the process altogether?
The idea of being a published writer, or a six-figure income writer, is indeed glamorous. But make no mistake--writing is hard work for most of us. Rejections outpace acceptances, at least until we're very well established. Making a more-than-decent living from stringing words together takes extensive persistence, diligence, dedication and chutzpah. Moreover, you've got to love doing it.
I do a lot of writing during my vacations from my day job. All of my "perfect days" include stints at the keyboard, or filling page after page in a paper notebook when I'm far from home. As a matter of fact, I am on vacation as I write this. It's a stunning day outside, deliciously warm and gloriously sunny. I will venture out soon enough, to run errands and bask in the day's beauty. But right now, in front of my PC, I am perfectly content, my fingers clicking along the keys, putting black words onto a white screen.
Certainly my own perfect day scenario would include a beautiful and peaceful setting, excellent cuisine, time with John and my family, and the freedom and energy to volunteer my services to a worthy cause. But I believe that a "perfect day" for all writers must include writing. If it doesn't, how could it ever be perfect? And even in an imperfect world in an imperfect life, every day that I do at least a little bit of writing comes that much closer to perfection.
© 2004 Mary Anne Hahn
Mary Anne Hahn is editor of WriteSuccess, a free biweekly ezine of ideas, information and inspiration for writers. She is also building a Web site that hopes will someday be one of the best online resources for new and experienced writers alike. To check out her growing site and subscribe to her ezine visit http://writesuccess.com.
Platform Development Tip #1: Switch Writing Hats!
Around eighty percent of nonfiction books today are written by "experts," that is people who have a) earned credentials in the field they're writing about, b) germinated information via articles, live presentations or other media, or c) had extraordinary, unique or memorably told life experiences relevant to their topic.For an autobiographical work, such as a memoir, an author needn't have any special expertise-she is the foremost authority on her own life.
The Writers Identity: Exploring the Writer Within
Les Edgerton writes in his book, Finding Your Voice, that the best way to find your voice is to write autobiographically. "Writers will never find a powerful, evocative voice until they learn to be bone-deep honest with themselves, open and vulnerable.
7 Devastating Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Writing engaging articles and energizing ad copy takes more than just typing out what you want to say. By correcting these major mistakes, your copy will soar to newfound heights.
Generating Nonfiction Book Titles Without a Hassle
The process of developing a working title for your nonfiction book can be a hassle sometimes. You first have to brainstorm a few titles, and if the results aren't to your liking, you are practically forced to brainstorm more possible titles --- or do you?One way to shorten this process is to have a book title bank at your fingertips that will include trigger titles, such as the ones listed below:Techniques for ----One Way to ----How to ----Handbook for -----Protecting ----Investing for ----Saving Your -----Finding Security in -----Fixing -----Getting -----Each of the sample triggers above has one or more missing words for you to fill in.
Pairs/Groups Of Words Often Confused - Part 1 of 6
ACCEPT, EXCEPTNot commonly seen even from unpublished writers, who are probably familiar with the difference because they're all waiting for an acceptance!"We accept your invitation to your party, except for Bill, who will be away on that day."ADAPT, ADEPT, ADOPTAdapt means to adjust, adept means skilled and adopt means to take as your own:"Some people cannot adapt to new surroundings.
How to Create Stories that Sizzle
How to Start Your Story with a BangThe purpose of creating a story is to create a world that will draw the reader away from their own. In order to do this one must create suspense, drama and mystery.
Call Yourself a Writer? Where Are Your Notes?
Writers are notorious collectors of slips of paper. They tear articles from magazines in the doctor's waiting room; they rip corners off newspapers in friend's houses because they need to write down something witty; and they stuff their bags and pockets with serviettes, cigarette packs, and discarded train tickets just because note making's second nature to them.
Ferreting Out Work
FERRETING OUT WORK
You keep hearing that there's work out there, but so far you haven't found any. Well, where is it? That depends on what you're looking for.
10 Secrets For Writing Killer Complaint Letters
Complaint letters aren't always fun, but sometimes they needto be written. In many cases, if people don't complain, the problem agency at fault (i.
Under The Leaded Sky in Serbia by dr Mirjana Radovic
When one population in one century survived five wars, two wars in just ten years, enforcment by self a question it`s the war destiny of Serbian people or his dare. With what a Serbian people has merit this - with his frankness, levity, with collective and national damnation or just with that fact which they are living in the territories which from its geopolitical consideration always were interesting orbit of much other populations.
Write Strategy: Think, Believe, Attack
Think of writing like karate..
Writing Good Dialogue.
There's nothing that kills a scene like hackneyed dialogue. Just stop and think about the average B-Grade Hollywood Movie.
Put a Spin on Your Idea!
Eight or nine times out of ten, picking up and leafing through a magazine's or book's table of contents, you will find at least one or more articles or chapters that will catch your attention immediately. Never mind that that article or chapter's subject had been written about many times before.
The Psychology Of Effortless Writing
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.
The Top Five Mistakes That Companies Make with Regard to Technical Documentation
I've seen it time and again. One of the most common weaknesses that I've seen in engineering companies-indeed, an almost universal fault-is the lack of proper technical documentation.
A Simple Contest with a Strong Message: Wake Up Your Writing Spirit
The Blogfest 2005 Writing Contest has only been running for two weeks and already the results are overwhelming. And not because we're getting far more entries than we expected.
Six Tips for Submitting Fiction - if you want it to get published
You can learn a lot about what it takes to place a story in an ezine by starting up one of your own.Last month I started work on a new ezine for writers, which I intended to use to publish high-quality, contemporary fiction, from writers all over the world.
Crime Writing Beckons
If your cash is running out fast and you have an incessant need to write, why not turn to crime?No! Not committing crime, but to writing about crime. Crime is all around us, and people want to know about it.
The journey to having my first novel for children published has been riddled with road blocks and shonky bridges. The good news? At every rickety stage I've picked up tips (and anti-tips) which I'm happy to share with everyone.
Sick of the Traditional Publishing Path?
A book coaching client recently emailed me that she was getting sick of traditional publishing because of so many costly requirements and so little payoff. Do you feel the same way?Fifteen years ago, I worked hard on a 60-page proposal for a top agent and after a year got "approval" to be his client.