For some bloggers, posting weekly is as simple and fast as boiling eggs. 1-2-3 and—hurrah!—done. For a few, it’s a bit of a challenge to come up with fresh/unique ideas. And for others, like a stumped IT specialist, it’s scratch-the-ol’-noggin’ time.
The first idea that came to this mind: continue with the theme of who to invite to dinner. Hmm. Maybe next time. The second: what makes for a good writer. Given I’m suffering from a bit of an irresolute mindset these days, that seemed a better option (and it never hurts to refresh/remind oneself in the process). The third: have one of the gals from the Triple Threat Investigation Agency take over again. Alas, they’re at a spa on Maui, having way too much fun. The fourth: do an update re current writing projects, but this seemed a bit of a snooze-fest and sailed out a window like a hastily pitched Frisbee.
A flip of the coin. Ta-da! What makes for a good writer it is. The following comprises some key [reminder] points, with food-for-thought author quotes. The first two I love—because they smack of truth. While the first is fabulous, the second is cynical (if not a little frightening), but I get it. <LOL>
“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” – W. Somerset Maugham
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” – George Orwell
First things first. Is talent a must to be a [successful] writer? It doesn’t hurt, but it can be developed (I will swear to that). You just have to make the commitment and . . . yes . . . do work hard.
“A writer never finds the time to write. A writer makes it. If you don’t have the drive, the discipline, and the desire, then you can have all the talent in the world, and you aren’t going to finish a book.” – Nora Roberts
Make an effort to read, read, read . . . anything and everything. You learn from others—their triumphs and their mistakes. Open your mind. Apply what you learn.
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time—or the tools—to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King
Write as often as you can, whatever you can. Let those fingers frolic on the keyboard or across the page (nothing wrong with the old-school approach).
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway
Edit what you write. If you’re new to editing, check out—and employ—editing and proofing guidelines and tips.
“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” – Mark Twain
“It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.” – C. J. Cherryh
Jot down concepts for stories and scenes in a journal. They may not prove suitable for a current project, but they certainly could for another.
“Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” – Jane Yolen
Set a writing schedule—even if it’s only one hour every Saturday and Sunday, and ten minutes every morning while chugging caffeine. It’s a start . . . and demonstrates the aforementioned commitment.
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” – E.B. White
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult
Stay focused. Having Brucey the Birman on your lap is great for relieving stress and scratch-the-ears damn-you’re-cute moments, but maybe not so much when you’re attempting to focus/compose.
“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support.” – Sabrina Bryan
“Where focus goes, energy flows.” – Tony Robbins
Utilize powerful verbs and strong adjectives/descriptions. When writing fiction, aim to stay informal or conversational, as opposed to overly technical or formal. Write with heart and soul.
“Strong words outlast the paper they are written upon.” – Joseph Bruchac
“Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.” – Ayn Rand
“A word after a word after a word is power.” – Margaret Atwood
Make sure to get input/feedback. You need to know—and adjust—your weaknesses. Take pride in your strengths.
“Learners need endless feedback more than they need endless teaching.” – Grant Wiggins
Lastly, here’s a great one from the amazing, witty Dorothy Parker . . .
“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”