Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Fridge Clean-Out: Keep Writing, Keep Writing, Keep Writing. Did I say to keep writing?

• I hate that newspapers are folding and I detest that book coverage in print media has been on the wane for a few years already. However, I do like reading the reminiscences of former book columnists, like this one by John Douglas Marshall, long time critic at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (which went all-online this week).

• For those seeking freelance article assignments, here is a helpful interview with ultra-successful magazine writer Lisa Collier-Cool, otherwise known (at least in my own head) as Queen of the Query (Letter).

• A low-cost, low-stress approach to turning the workshop concept (or at least the terminology) on its ear.

• Literary agent Nathan Bransford writes a witty, interesting, and informative blog. I'd like to point you to two of his recent posts, the first titled Ten Commandments for the Happy Writer. Excerpts from two of his rules:

"There is time in the day (to write). You may have to sacrifice your relaxation time or sleep time or reality television habit, but there is time. You just have to do it."
"Didn't find an agent? Keep writing. Book didn't sell? Keep writing. Book sold? Keep writing. OMG an asteroid is going to crash into Earth and enshroud the planet in ten feet of ash? Keep writing. People will need something to read in the resulting permanent winter."
I kept coming back to these two pieces of advice because over the past two weeks I met with two private writing clients, and both were stuck in what I call the "mother-writer vise," bewildered about how to squeeze more writing time into full days, reeling from recent disappointing agent feedback. And I basically told them the same thing. Well, what I actually said was: Steal the time. Stop volunteering for everything at your kids' schools. Let the house get dirty. Make the kids do chores. Train the husband or teenager to cook (or at least defrost & microwave). And as far as rejections go - I said what I always say: I see. Carry on.

Bransford also addressed Writer's Block in this post. I myself waffle between thinking of writer's block as a bona-fide affliction (when it's bugging me) and a neat little rationalization for procrastination (when others are complaining). Bransford asked how writers deal, and got nearly 225 comments. Hmm… maybe just reading through 200+ blog comments is enough to break through…

Have a great weekend. Make some time to write. Any little bit of time. Carry on.

No comments: