Focus on Becoming a Writer

Tweet: Malaise and work are not good companions.

Blog # 4

While thumbing through old, old writers magazines, I discovered a quote of Norman Gautreau’s: “You must focus on the process of writing and not the dream of being a writer.” I began to rethink what I had considered a waste of time from lectures, conferences and others’ suggestions. I realized how much they had taught me.

Take advantage of learning to perfect your craft without someone stealing your enthusiasm.

  1. Not everyone is interested in the same genre.
  2. Some people will be drawn to your story, others, not so much. That doesn’t mean you have a stinky story.
  3. Remember to ask for specific feedback when enlisting a reader’s help. Ask them to read for continuity, repetitive words, name changes of the same character, flow, confusion about plot, OR mechanics, etc. Too many areas can bog down a kind reader.
  4. Choose an editor who is smarter than you if you truly want helpful feedback.
  5. Thank readers whatever the quality of their thoughts. One writer described a final draft that had been edited 35 times, even with a publisher. He had modeled a character after a person in his community using a pseudonym but used the real name later in his novel. No one had caught it.
  6. Avoid, like the plague, anyone who doesn’t have your best interest at heart. One person in an editing group shared a personal note from a fellow member with other members naming her the best writer in the group. Hmmm. What was that about? Someone, perhaps, whose ego needs nurturing at your expense. Run don’t walk.
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