Saturday, October 22, 2011

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About WRITING But Are Afraid To Ask

Back in the days when I was a ponytailed little girl who liked to climb trees just about as much as I enjoyed played with dolls I was allowed to attend a baby shower for my older, married cousin.  One of her shower gifts was a book all the grown-up ladies made a fuss about with giggles and snorts and interest.  When I wanted to know just what could be so interesting they shooed me outside to play with the new batch of kittens.   Being stubborn and hard to stop, however, I remembered the name of the book and vowed I'd find out what it was all about someday.  I committed that yellow cover and title - "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask" to memory.  My problem at the age of nine or so wasn't that I was afraid to ask - it seemed the adults were afraid to answer.

Fast forward a few years and I discovered the very same book tucked away in my mother's bedroom, hidden.  Before long each time I found myself home alone, I scooted in and read a chapter or so, expanding my education long before the public school system got around to sex education.  

While I found all that intruiging and of great interest and eventually branched out to read both The Sensuous Woman and The Sensuous Man, I think practical experience broadened my horizons much more.

What I really needed was a book titled Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About WRITING But Are Afraid To Ask.  Now that would have been useful.

So today I thought I'd write not a book - although it's quite an idea and a catchy title - but a blog post about things maybe writers are afraid to ask so here are some questions writers might have and my answers.

So is it hard to be a writer?
Yes and no.  I love what I do and words are tools I use with some skill but it's not an easy occupation.  It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, stubbornness, a thick skin to fend off rejection and the flexibility to accept edits and write what markets dictate.

Will my writing sell?
Yes - if it's good enough.  One thing I notice about a lot of beginning writers is that they believe they're writing such deathless prose it won't need to be editing.  Little things like grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics aren't necessary because they have such a great story....NOT.  No writers' work will sell if they don't learn how to present it.   A big turnoff for editors is a manuscript chock full of glaring errors and problems so clean it up and learn to do it right. 

Do writers get rich?
Excuse me while I roll around on the floor laughing at that one.  We all know the big name top tier writers like Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Dean Koontz, and such who are wealthy but most of us writers plod along hoping to make a living.  I have eight books out now and I'm still juggling bills, planning grocery lists around cheap so if you're doing this for money alone, just go get a job at Wal-Mart.

Okay, I could do this all day but here's my offer.  If you, fellow writers, beginning or seasoned have a question burning in your soul about writing ask me here by leaving a comment and in an upcoming blog I'll answer them with all the honesty I have and with my blunt style of truth.

Heck, if I get enough response I might just write that new writer's answer book after all!

2 comments:

  1. I have a question! (Great post by the way!) So, I'm a pretty smart gal, but when it comes to editing my work, well, I suck.
    My editor is kind, but I am sure she will get sick of my repeated mistakes soon - especially dangling participles. Any advice on how to go back and relearn the basics? Sometimes I just can't see the mistakes.
    And one other question - what are some good ways to promote your work?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post on writing...especially about the money and the editing part---in future will point others who ask these questions to this post.

    ReplyDelete

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