So, you want to _______? 3 pieces of advice

In this world of writing there are all kinds of advice from people that you meet, people that you know, and even people you love. There are perfect (not so perfect) strangers willing to tell you the most horrendous information about their private lives because they are sure it will make a very good book.
            So, first piece of advice: listen, be polite, nod occasionally, and let the advice marinate on the surface a while—some more time than others.

            Writing is a solitary world peopled with storms, trials, love, adventures, and much that happens to people, places, and things that are only in our minds. These are set free from the confines of our subconscious to our consciousness by mindless activity.
            So, second piece of advice: don’t ignore the vacuuming, the dishes, and folding the laundry or whatever numb activity you’re avoiding while you write. Those chores have a place in your life and they cut the chains of captivity on your creative muse.

            There are many forms of writing. Those who write the stuff of the back of the cereal boxes would have a tough time writing a novel. There are also many paths to completion of a written piece—almost as many as there are writers. Writing is a form of artistic expression. One person’s brown is another person’s burnt sienna.
            So, the third piece of advice: Don’t look down on any writer’s work as you have not tried their path. Forget what you learned in college as the proper way to write as those teachers may or may not have studied the many ways that writers engage in the process of writing. (Likely not!) The process is NOT the end work. Speak to as many different writers as possible to begin to understand the different ways that writing manifests itself in different people. It will help keep you sane as your own talent develops.
             The best advice--join WARA.

My Writing Thoughts I Would Like To Share With you !!! (Z Minor)

Write every day or at least most days. You set your own schedule to how many days you will write and for how long. The most important point to remember is DO IT. I know you think you don’t have time every day because writing a story takes a considerable amount of time – 2-3 minimum hours or more per session. Not true! If all you have is fifteen (15) minutes a day, you can train your mind to cooperate after about a week of writing for the length of time you choose. And when you set down in your chair to write your creative mind just takes over and for the allotted time you write. It is amazing how much writing, plotting, or character work you can get done in a small or large amount of time if you are committed to your writing. I don’t know why it works but take it from me – it does. Give it a try, you will be surprised, and then I can tell you “I told you so.”

I can’t write all day every day. Daily chores like cooking, cleaning, laundry, my flower garden, other creative enjoyments, and my favorite - lunch with friends – take me away from my current writing projects. Yet, in reality doing other things, see above, helps my creativity. I find if I write too long, my writing doesn’t improve. So I write for a couple of hours most days, take a break. This gives me time to plot in my head while I’m doing tasks which are mindless, see above. Then when I come back to my project, my mind is refreshed, and ready to be creative. Remember to have fun!

BICHOK WARA Mantra – Butt In Chair Hands On Keyboard. Your story will not get written if you don’t work on it. The world is full of people who say – someday I will write a novel. Become one of those people who doesn’t just talk about writing a book. Just Do it!!!

Research - If you are going to write a story using researched material find enough to get started writing your story. Determine which facts are needed to enhance your plot and characters. Remember too many events become an unwanted information dump and/or a history lesson. Sprinkle the information carefully throughout your novel. Don’t forget your characters – weave them into the researched action. Once you determine what facts you will use you can always do more research if need be to give your story more detail.

You can research as you write. Be careful you don’t spend months/years researching instead of writing your story. Many successful writers use only a small percent of the material they have research for their novels.

Finish Your Novel – Believe it or not there are many people who start writing a story – be it a novel or a short story and never get beyond a few pages or chapters. In fact, many people have many books started but none finished. Don’t be one of them. Complete your novel, short story, novella, etc. I have enjoyed watching my characters come alive before my eyes even when they talk back to me or are just plain stubborn. Join a writer’s group, there are many in our area to choose from. They offer encouragement to a new writer and suggestions for improvement to seasoned writers.

Z. Minor

Author of Historical Romantic & Contemporary Suspense Novels.

So, you want to grow wild sunflowers? 3 pieces of advice by J Vincent

August and the living is easy.  Easy that is if you’re not a teacher getting ready for school to begin or parents and students preparing for the same.  Can you tell I once was a teacher?  And a teacher long before air-conditioning was prevalent in schools. Heat and sunflowers come to mind when I think of August.  I’ve always loved sunflowers and have various items from trips and other instances above my sewing desk.  I especially love the sunflower doily plate made especially for me by the Elk Falls Pottery  using a sunflower doily which I designed the pattern and crocheted.  I don’t have a clay impression art work by Inga Bow (only her wheat art and a gorgeous woman and child with wildflowers--do check out her sample gallery) I do recall her saying during a tour years ago of her studio in Abilene how difficult it was getting to find wild sunflowers for pressing into clay.
1.      You want to grow wild sunflowers.  First pick seeds from the roadside or where ever you are lucky enough to find them.
2.     Use a rake (not the leaf variety) and score the ground where you wish to plant them.  Scatter the seeds and then use the hoe to cover them
3.     Water occasionally--wild sunflowers are accustomed to dry conditions.  After they bloom pick more seeds or let them reseed themselves.
These steps will allow you to enjoy sunflowers for years to come. 

The same steps may be followed to “grow” your writing.
1.     Pick one tale from the story ideas that present themselves from wherever and whatever
2.     Use research and outlining--whatever tools you are most comfortable with to develop the tale
3.     “Water” frequently --while used to “drought” in writing we are not like sunflowers--with encouragement and interchanges with other writers --WARA being a prime example.
Follow these steps and sprinkle in persistent BICHOK and the stories will “bloom” for you!

As I sat on my deck this morning eating breakfast I studied the sunflowers blooming on the berm just beyond our property.  Nature planted them and they are marvelously presenting the most gorgeous vista with help from no one.  Writers aren’t the same.  We need all the encouragement we can get.  With that in mind I ask for some caring from you.  Later this month I am undergoing some very serious back surgery in the hope of getting rid of constant pain and being able to once again walk without aids of any sort.  In the meantime may your writing bloom just like the sunflowers I see from my deck.

So you want to write a book? (Kathy Pritchett)

Are you sure? Do you want to dedicate hours, days, weeks, months and even years to make what is in your imagination come alive for others? Do you want to hear criticism, both constructive and just plain mean, about what you have poured your soul into? Okay, if your answer is yes, plow ahead for some advice from someone who has been there.

First of all, write. Every day. Make it a habit. The more you do this, the easier it will become for the words to tiptoe out from hiding and show themselves. Sadly, this is a piece of advice I seldom heed. I guess, though I have considered myself a writer from the age of 14 (that’s a lotta years; don’t bother with the math; we deal in words!), I also suffer from the fear that this gift that has been entrusted to me will be taken away, and the words won’t come. Even the main character in More Than a Point of Honor and The Judas Seat (and more books, if I can just let them out), successful novelist Richard Matthews, fears the words not flowing.

Second, do your research. I just read another book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Like all of her books, it teams with minute historical, medical, psychological detail. You smell the unwashed people, feel the sweat run down your back, tremble in fear of hanging, and want to run from the white sow. I don’t know how she knows so much medical information or the minute details of Colonial dress and toilet, but it sure adds to the story. Her detail, rather than slowing down the flow, adds to and is an integral part of the plot. Tom Clancy’s and even J.R.R. Tolkien’s detail bogs me down at time, but not Diana’s or Frank Herbert’s. Good writers are like good painters. Every brushstroke takes you closer to the picture they want you to see.

Third, edit, rewrite, then edit and rewrite again. Listen to beta readers and critics. Comments that are from left field might safely be ignored, but if several readers have the same complaint, look closely at the issue. See what you can do to fix it. Though writing is considered a solitary task, it really isn’t. A writer, except perhaps for Emily Dickinson, doesn’t write for her or himself. A writer writes to communicate with readers. Richard mentions this in his address to a writing conference in Honor. If readers don’t understand what you have tried to tell them, don’t blame the readers. Try again.

In short, if you want to write a book, do it. Be prepared to give up time with friends, other hobbies and often, your sanity. But do it. Write, research, and edit. Over and over. You may write several books that never see publication—author Jodi Thomas call it your “under the bed” book—but you will learn more than a Master’s program in the writing of it. As a critic told me once, “keep at it and you’ll get there.” Even though that was back in the days of typewriters, it’s still good advice.