Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Audience Participation

At the risk of sounding bookish, reminiscent of a 19th century authoress, I must say: You are, Gentle Reader, the pinnacle of delight and goodness. I gleaned so much from your comments, your musings, your graciousness after last week's post that I am going to do something completely unorthodox and post your comments here for the world to see. Sometimes we don't always take the time to learn from one another.

But before we start, I want to share a quote with you. It speaks for itself, actually: There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

My favorite writing advice is simple and to the point, and it comes from Natalie Goldberg: Shut up and write. All too often, I find myself whining because the words aren't flowing as nicely as I want them to. I get grumpy and stomp around like a child. I lament on just how bad the writing is. I suck. I'll never be good, so why bother. Then, I think of this line. Shut up and write. Stop being dramatic and childish and put your butt in the chair. Type or scribble, whatever, just shut up and write. --Meika

Mine is from Stephen King: Give yourself permission to be craptacular. Just get it on paper and don't worry about whether it's perfect, or perfectly awful. Cleanup is what second drafts are for! --Suzanne

"The point is simple: you're surrounded by the most diverse, entertaining, encouraging, moody, hopeful, enthusiastic life-long learners that exist in the known universe." This is SO true. --Brent http://www.thebookpatch.com/

The one that keeps running through my head is: Use the right word.I recently got some editing feedback that maybe I was employing a $10 word, when a string of 20cent words would do. I considered it for a moment, but then discarded the suggestion. I'd rather use one correct word than a dozen imposters hoping to kinda sorta get my point across. --Venus Vaughn
At first I hesitated to post the following. It's more personal in nature and isn't particularly advice (though I certainly feel that Liz has taught me something about attitude and tenacity and patience). Ultimately, I decided to include her words because they speak to me...and I hope they speak to you as well. Then do run on over to her site and say hello.
*sigh* this is just what I've needed to read lately. I'm a former athlete (though I've always been a writer and artist) though I was recently diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that keeps me from most athletics. I've been down and lonely hearing all about the long runs my former running buddies are going on. So, thank you for reminding me that I am doing something that many people also wish they could do and something I can do for the rest of my life, despite my "condition."-- Liz H. Allen www.writingmommy.com
Thank you, all of you, for your wisdom and vision.
And now, I am off to a writing conference for teachers where I get to present a (hopefully) motivational workshop on the life of writing. Wish me luck ;)

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