Writing

Can one who has published nothing, and completed precious little, legitimately call themselves an aspiring writer?

Well as of the time of this entry, I’m 16,000 words into my first novel with another two in early workings, I’ve completed three short stories with one ready for publication, (well, I’ve only gotten one rejection slip so far, so it could still be far from ready and I don’t realize it *grin*,) and this very online journal has the equivalent of over 500 paperback book pages.

I think I can safely call myself an “aspiring author.”

Now, when I actually publish a novel and two short stories, or a novel and two non-fiction essays, I’ll call myself an actual Writer. Until then, hard at work I am!

In the course of getting to this point, I have done a LOT of preparation and wasted false starts. I’ve taken three college creative writing courses during my undergrad tenure, two community college creative writing courses, have read (all or most of) over 10 or 12 writer’s guide/help books, have been a member of an online fiction critique club, and have a few dozen beginnings of stories and novels that are anywhere from 1 to 10 pages and then stop.

What’s taken so long to finally get going with finishing one of the novels? I finally listened to all the published writers that kept saying “during that 1st draft, turn off the editor!” That is, just get the stuff out on paper and don’t worry about making it perfect. Don’t worry about grammar (much) and finding the perfect word or going back to make changes–leave all that for the 2nd draft. And it’s finally struck home. The last few weeks I’ve been writing about 10 pages a weekend and it’s been liberating not grinding in angst over just the perfect sentence, every sentence. The words have been coming fast and free now. I think I’m quite on track to having my 1st draft finished by October. November at the latest.

Here are just a few links related to writing, I’ll add some more and organize them later.

  • I Should Be Writing — Blog and podcast from a struggling writer. Tips from and interviews with published authors.
  • Michael A. Stackpole Podcasts — Advice for the writer from a NY Times Bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy.
  • HollyLisle.com — Career writer with pages and pages of great advice for the aspiring and published writer.

2 thoughts on “Writing”

  1. I’m only a few thousand words into my “first novel.”

    My biggest fear is that, after I write it, nobody will want to publish it. I translated a book by a guy in Spain (about 30,000 words), and he asked me to help him find a publisher. I’ve sent out a couple dozen query letters and keep getting rejected.

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