Today’s Pearls Before Swine is a classic for us writers.
So you’ve shrugged off criticism.
And writer’s guilt? Gone for now!
But someone approaches you with a profitable offer and, freed of fear and doubt, you say, “Yes.”
Here are a few tips on tackling a big writing job…[Note: this is geared toward academia, but the guidelines still apply.]
On the fiction side, try some prewriting strategies.
You have to decide which ones are worth listening to.
A few gems from those who have lived with criticism throughout their entire writing life…
“If critics say your work stinks it’s because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity with their comfortable little standards. Standards so low that they can no longer be considered “dangerous” but set in place in their compartmental understandings.” — Jack Kerouac
“The thing people don’t realize, God bless them, is that my books are supposed to suck.”
— Stephanie Meyer
“I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.” — Samuel Johnson
“Critics in New York are made by their dislikes, not by their enthusiasms.” — Irwin Shaw
Writing projects…coming at you from all sides.
Most of them half-completed. [if you’re lucky].
Let’s hope you’re taking yesterday’s dealing with guilt advice to heart.
But there’s still work to do.
Sort out the three or four ‘loudest’, most insistent projects.
And get back to scheduling.
Give each of them at least 15 minutes.
[You and I both know those sessions will stretch to 25 or 30 minutes.]
You will see real progress and, even more important, you can sleep soundly knowing these projects are no longer collecting psychic dust.
The TV show can wait.
The dishes can wait.
The laundry can wait.
Your creative life can’t.
“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King
“Style is to forget all styles.”
“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
Credit to: writersdigest.com
Life’s treating you like a captive in an outhouse.
But wait! Those ill-fated moments can launch you into some quality writing.
You shrug your shoulders, admit you have nothing to lose, reach for your pen and durable paper [no bathroom tissue, please], and have at it.
And…even if, in your heedless state, a little doubt is tucked in your back pocket, here is a vital kick in the seat of the pants.
Yes, it’s time…
One of your favorite characters has to meet his demise.
You’ve written yourself [your character, actually] into a corner.
Buck up, put on your ‘audacious author’ pants, and lead him off the pier.
So to speak.
To coin a phrase.
As it were.
Need a little help with this challenging next step?
There is prewriting. That’s good.
And then there’s prewriting hysteria. Not so good.
Create a basic framework as a starting point and let inspiration and imagination fill in the blanks.
However, if you’ve signed onto a previously promoted two-month ‘finish this!’ program, well, just ignore the first draft suggestion above.
Hey, it’s the writing life! No one said it would make sense.