We all do foolish things. Well, at least I know that I do! Here are eight foolish things that writers do. I'm sure that there are others, so feel free to share in the comments below!
Eight Foolish Things Writers Do
- Delete Drafts Ack! Don’t do this. Unless you are entirely sure it is complete rubbish, don’t delete your drafts! Or false starts! You may go back and find material for a new project or re-insert previous material into a later draft. Not much is junk! Back It Up Baby will give you some ideas of how to save all those drafts.
- Forget to Network As in any business, it is essential to network with others in your field. Networking will help keep you motivated to keep writing. But, who can do this stuff without help? Networking with other authors will allow you to help others and allow them to help you. There’s a great article on networking over at the Creative Penn.
- Neglect Learning Technology Becoming proficient in technology will only increase your general productivity and decrease mistakes. Do you know how to recover a Word document? Do you know how to load a Word document or PDF onto your Kindle? (These two tutorials will be coming soon!) Do you know what options exist in Microsoft Word for writing? What about creating a “dummy” version of your picture book in PowerPoint? There are lots of tutorials out there! Spend some time learning a new skill each week. You’ll be so glad you did!
- Ignore Other Creative Endeavors I am a big believer in what I like to call “cross-pollination.” Creativity feeds creativity. Art is playing with ideas and new experiences. Replenish the inner well of ideas by engaging in other creative things. Go listen to (or even participate in!) an open mike. Go to a painting class. Play with some clay! Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way would call these Artists Dates. Go on many! There are hundreds of ideas online!
- Compare Yourself to Others This is the death of many an artist and writer. It’s wonderful to learn from the masters, but don’t compare yourselves to them, or to anyone else. You have a unique voice with a unique story. Embrace it. You would not compare your 8 month old baby with a 4 year old and think your 8 month old baby wasn’t doing it right, would you? So, don’t do it to yourself either. Allow for growth but embrace your unique vision.
- Jump Right in Without Pre-writing What do I mean by pre-writing? Pre-writing is all the notes you take and research you do before you set pen to paper. You get a brilliant idea for a book or piece of writing and you jot it down. Then you might add some more notes. You may even sketch out a few scenes. You may outline what is going to happen in the story or create a story map. Get to know your characters, who they are and what they do and why. All of this pre-writing will make your story or piece of writing that much stronger. It’s worth the investment of time!
- Get Bogged Down in Details Too Soon This happens to me a lot. I start to write down my ideas and get caught up in how to spell a word or even grammar. This breaks my flow. Right now it may not matter what color shirt Joe was wearing. What matters is what Joe was doing and why. Maybe the color Joe was wearing is significant, but I think you catch my drift. Get your ideas down. Trust me. You will refine them in the revision process. And the spelling and grammar can be corrected in your editing later. Details are extremely important, don’t get me wrong, but don’t let them bog you down too soon.
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