My ultra-boring life

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Some things I've learned about writing

Posting once a month is okay, right?    I could say my life is extra boring but it's really almost as exciting as the next person's -- it's all about what you choose to talk about, to think about.  I was much more talkative twenty years ago.  Less afraid, more naive, I don't know why.  Now I like to interact more, and listen.  Some might say that's wisdom.  Some might say that's boring.  I don't know.  All I know is that for me, one blog post a month is doing well. :)

Now, on to writing.  I recently restarted my book.  It was a hard decision, but I'm glad I did it.  They say that you have to write about a million words -- or work 10,000 hours, depending on who you listen to -- before you're any good, and the more I work on writing, the more I believe it.  It's still difficult for me to see the details that need to be changed sometimes, but I'm getting better.  And I've learned that revising and revising and revising can sometimes be like working on a car -- yes, you can keep trying to fix what's broken, but the overall integrity of the car diminishes the more you work on it, so sometimes it's best to cut your losses and just buy a new car.  I had worked so much on the previous draft that all I could see was what needed to be fixed and what was wrong and I was stuck.  I was struggling to write any more.  But when I started over, things were clearer, easier, and better.  All of the practice of the previous draft helped me tremendously.

Another thing I've learned is that you really have to work at it, not wait for inspiration to strike.  All the best writers have said it before me, and said it much better, but I'm just adding my voice to the pile.  Writing is hard work.  It takes diligence and dedication.  I'm not completely there yet -- my self-doubts still get in the way -- but like with many things, practice makes perfect.

Now, I don't apply these things well to my blog.  I just dump here, without much, if any, editing.  That's why I call it the Whine. :)  But if some of the things I've learned can help others, that would be wonderful.