vb – (often foll by: on) to chatter or babble pointlessly or at unnecessary length
n – pointless chat; chatter
COLLINS ENGLISH DICTIONARY – COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED, 12TH EDITION 2014 © HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
this week’s witterings
It’s been a while since I wrote about writing and therefore past-due a feature focusing on the craft. No, not the witchy-sort 😉
I’m talking about writing craft.
To those of you newly inducted into novel or short-story writing, writing craft is your methodology. You can easily find dozens of how-to’s these days. Between articles and books, some written by the lucky 1% like Stephen King, to those down in the trenches like yours truly. We’re all writing based on our own experiences, and on trial and error. Universities and schools generally teach one way or another. I’ve found the best teacher is not only writing, but editing. With every book and story I write or edit, I improve and refine my knowledge. All writers are a bit like silver, constantly being melted down and reforged in a process old as time.
The clincher is you’ll never improve unless you write.
The best advice I can offer you is to not be your worst enemy. You’ll always find someone out there who is better (or more experienced) than you are. But when you focus too much on how much better someone else seems to be or be doing, it’s way too easy to lose sight of your progress. Remember, if you’re writing, you’re constantly growing your craft. It won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take time, hard work, and little thanks in the beginning (sometimes longer).
What I can promise you is how satisfied you’ll feel with every project you complete. If you focus on these little victories, you’ll eventually find the courage to keep going. One day you’ll wake up and realize you’ve written over ten full-length novels, half a dozen short stories, with more on the way. One day, you’ll have multiple series under your belt, each one better than the last. Write what you love, and you’ll never burn out completely. Avoid focusing on money (nice as money can be…) and pursue your writing craft because you love it. That’s where you’ll find fulfilment and satisfaction.
So what have I learned lately?
This year, I published two new sequels to Silver Hollow. I’m currently writing Book 4, and finishing up rewrites for Craving Beauty (Wylder Tales 1). I have no clue how I’ve managed this, other than constantly writing. I have a five-month-old baby and six-year-old son I care for, along with a full-time day job. My family has been through the ringer since before COVID hit. I’ve learned there is never a right or even good time to write. There’s just the time you make.
I write and revise in stolen minutes on my phone while rocking my baby, or on work breaks.
Some days I feel frustrated, like I’ll never finish my current WIP. But then I look back at the chapter or page number I’m on, and find it’s happened, anyway. Each time I finish something, I get that extra boost that reminds me why I fell in love with writing in the first place. I’ve written and edited enough that I know the right “beats” I need for each story. I can easily see where things need to go or shift around in my head. One way or another the story will be written.
My husband recently mentioned that I’m always doing something, even when I’m relaxing or not officially working. I told him I have to keep doing if I want anything to get done. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize how true that is for the place I’m at in life. One day, my kids will be adults and out of the house. One day, I might have the same stretches of easy writing hours I knew in my early twenties. Or maybe not. In my experience, life tends to trade out one stressor for a different one. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, and maybe that’s part of the feeling I mentioned when I finally finish a project.
It’s that inner muse inside me that knows exactly what I sacrificed to reach my goals.
Some things about writing have become easier for me. Others, like making time, are harder. I look at my friends and contemporaries out there writing despite their little and big adversities. I’m constantly reminded that it can always get harder, could always be worse. It reminds me to be grateful for what I have, to the people in my life who also make it worthwhile.
People often call writing a solitary endeavor. I’m constantly surrounded by people and the only alone time I get is walking on the land. As an introvert, that can make things extra tricky. But it’s a major blessing, too. I’m so grateful to all the people in my life who remind me of what’s important at the end of each day. And to my little ones, who fill my heart with so much love. With every goal met, I hope to make them proud of me. I hope to inspire them to keep doing the thing that enriches them, the way writing has enriched me.
Wherever you’re at today in your journey, I challenge you to keep going, to keep doing. Never give up.
On that note, I’d best get back to Annwyn Park. See you later, friend 🙂
Goals for this week
Finish up Craving Beauty (even if it’s on my phone.)
Make headway into Annwyn Park.
Be kind to myself and love others, even when it’s difficult ❤
Breath (A 30 Day Yoga Journey) – love Adrien’s 30 Day series! ❤
“Cheat Sheet for Writing Body Language” – from Writers Write
“How to Write Bad Characters” – from Writer Un-Boxed
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