June 18, 2008
I’m a History Channel fanatic. Not surprisingly since most of my novels have historical settings. Last night I was watching, what else, the History Channel, and a documentary on FDR. I had seen the doc before, but it was very well done and so interesting I didn’t mind watching it again. I’m glad I did, because it got me thinking about the lost art of letter writing. The doc mentions a lot of letter writing- FDR to Churchill, Churchill to FDR (these letters were actually copied by a spy who fortunately was found out before they were made public), Eleanor to FDR, FDR to his lovers. There was one distant cousin he was particularly close to who he confided in and wrote numerous letters to. She in turn not only wrote back, but kept a journal filled with about 1,000 pages of writing. Handwritten writing, to be exact. Nowdays we can’t fathom anyone handwriting that many pages, but it was common practice as little as thirty years ago.
With the advent of the computer and email, I think letter writing is a lost art. I’ll admit to eschewing handwritten letters for a quick email due to ease and efficiency, but I know I should take the time to sit down and write. I don’t even own any stationery anymore, unless you count the handmade cards I stamped with my scrapbooking stamps. Although I wouldn’t count those, since I’ve stamped the greetings on the cards!
Is letter writing going the way of the dodo bird and the wooly mammoth? In fifty years will there be any personal correspondence left, or will it all be in email/memo form ready to delete in an instant? Does anyone even use a diary anymore? I wonder…
June 10, 2008
Now that school is officially out, I’m ready to tend my neglected blog. Today’s post has to do with treating writing as a business. Whether you’re a freelance writer, novelist, employed as a full-time writer, or merely a dabbler, its important to understand that in order to be successful both financially and artistically you must treat writing as a job and a business. Recently I attended a terrific writing conference where featured speaker Stephanie Bond discussed this very topic. She’s a romance novelist with a business background and has managed to meld both the creative and business aspects of writing into a very successful career. She advocates writing a business plan, something I’ve done in the past. I recommend visiting her site for information on how to create a plan tailored to a novelist’s career.
For freelance writers, here’s a short blog post listing five important principles for writing success. These can be applied to all types of writers as well.
Once you’ve evaluated your career goals, set up your office, and written your business plan, the next and most crucial step you should take is making a commitment to following your plan and reaching your goals. This is where many writers, myself included, either lose sight of what they want to acheive, or completely fall off the wagon. Without committment not only will your efforts at establishing your writing career be a colossal waste of time, you’ll also become easily distracted or discouraged. To avoid this, commit to yourself, to your goals, and to your career.
April 14, 2008
Congratulations to Jane Perrine for winning Laurie Alice Eakes latest release from Heartsong Presents!
April 14, 2008
I’ve taken some personal hits lately, which is part of the reason why updating the blog has been so sporadic. Because I’m so emotionally drained, I’ve found it difficult to write anything, even emails. I’ve known writers who have been able to write through anything, and I admire them for that. I think I’m a writer that needs to know when to step away and lick my wounds before getting back in the fray again. Because that is what having a writing career is–one fight after another. You fight to get published and to get paid. You battle the inner critic and the elusive muse. You struggle to find words when there are none and to make sense of plots and ideas and characters that are nonsensical.
So why do it? Why write? I write because I have to. If I don’t write, then I feel as if a part of me is missing. And even though I might take an extended break from writing, I’m never gone from it for very long and it is never far from my thoughts.
How do you write through the pain?