Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How do you approach your writing

I came across the below list from Annie West http://www.annie-west.com/articleslinks.html I found it motivating so needed to share.

After a long hard look at my approach to writing, I made some changes and they’ve worked for me.

Here are some of those questions, plus more that I know have made a difference to other writers. The trick is not to be defensive and find excuses for what you don’t do, but to consider realistically what you can change to help achieve your dreams:

  • Do you treat writing as your business? Do you take it as seriously as your day job?
  • Do you write regularly? Do you write only when you feel like it? Do you try to write even if you’re out of your routine? Hey, do you even have a routine?
  • Do you have a writing plan? What will you produce this year? How will that help you achieve your goal?
  • Are your goals achievable given the time you can put into them?
  • Do you meet to discuss your writing or instead, just talk about being a writer?
  • How much time do you spend surfing the net or on loops, talking about writing rather than writing?
  • What are your writing strengths and how are you capitalising on them?
  • Why are you targeting your book to that line/editor? Because you’ve heard they may be acquiring, or because your strengths and writing style mean that’s where your work best fits?
  • Why are you entering that competition? Is it easier than finishing the manuscript?
  • Have you reread the comments on your competition entry even though you didn’t agree with the judges? Did you find any commonality in the comments? Did you attempt to address the issues they raised?
  • When will you have researched enough? Can you start writing now, while you research?
  • Have you submitted a manuscript?
  • Did you leave it first for several months then go back to it with a fresh eye? Was it as tightly written as you could make it? Were you sure there were no rough edges or was it good enough that you hoped the editor would gloss over those bits that might need a little work?
  • Does the opening grab the reader by the throat and not let go? Really? If not, why send it off? (It’s awful to receive a rejection, to reread the partial and realise how much better you could have made it!)

1 comment:

Sussan Marz said...

Wow, Barb. That's quite a list of questions. A few of them I have been asking consistently for a while, especially "Why are you targeting your book to that line/editor? Because you’ve heard they may be acquiring, or because your strengths and writing style mean that’s where your work best fits?".

Thanks for sharing.