We yearned to fly up there somehow to see for ourselves what lay upon those distant shores ...
and one day, we finally got there ...
because we did not give up.
We yearn to make an impact with our writing, our casting of sparkling tales into the darkness.
If we do not give up, we will reach that goal ...
but only if we continue to grow.
HOW DO WE GROW AS WRITERS?
1.) READ WRITERS WHO INSPIRE YOU
Here are some of which you may be unaware --
BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott:
Anne is the Bette Midler of the writing world -- and no, this book is not about birds.
“Almost every single thing you hope publication will do for you is a fantasy, a hologram--it's the eagle on your credit card that only seems to soar.”
CARING FOR WORDS IN A CULTURE OF LIES by Marilyn Chandler McEntyre
Marilyn is the standard bearer for the power of words.
“Loving language means cherishing it for its beauty, precision, power to enhance understanding, power to name, power to heal. And it means using words as instruments of love”
THE SITUATION AND THE STORY by Vivian Gornik
Vivian weaves the magic of how the internal story gives birth to the external one.
"Every work of literature has both a situation and a story.
The situation is the context of circumstance, sometimes the plot;
the story is the emotional experience that preoccupies the writer: the insight, the wisdom, the thing one has come to say."
THE WRITING LIFE by Annie Dillard
In fluid and dream-like prose, Annie relates the harsh world of writing.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. There is no shortage of good days. It is good lives that are hard to come by.
One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all ...
The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later."
What are some of your favorite inspiring books?
2.) SHAKE IT UP
Like those Go-Go Dancers of the sixties, shake it up. Only first person for you? Do third person. Only prose. Write a haiku.
3.) DANCE AS IF NO ONE WERE WATCHING
Forget about selling your book, about your audience, about what is hot. Write the best story you know how.
Tarantino says that you should make your story for you. There are others like you that will like it, too.
4.) WRITE FOR AN AUDIENCE
Yes, I know what I just said.
But we are story-tellers. We do our best work thinking of how best to stir the listeners.
Imagine you are telling your tale to a very sick friend, trying to get her mind off her pain.
Can't be boring. Can't be pedantic.
Must conjure a world that takes your friend from the sickbed of pain to a world of wonder.
5.) WEED OUT WORD CRUTCHES
We all have words we fall back on over and over. Work at expanding your vocabulary.
Wordle helps there:
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide.
The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.
It will help you see your crutch words while giving you a fun time.