So over at SFC last Friday Raine blogged, asking the question: What do you do to challenge yourself with your writing? (and I donâ€™t mean as far as quotas, but as far as craft).
It’s a great discussion with lots of interesting feedback if you want to check it out.
You can’t raise two halfway decent kids, almost completely alone by being afraid–unless you want to end up in a straight jacket.Â If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a single parent AND as a writer, it’s that while our fears are real (to us), we can’t let them consume us.Â There are worse things in life than a rejection.Â As a writer, and most importantly as a writer who wants to stay published, I think it’s important to challenge myself, to push myself to new limits, to try things even if they suck, no matter how much they make me whine etc…. I tell my children, often, and said at SFC, there is no failure in trying, there is only failure in NOT trying.Â I stand by that.
And one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten was from a writer who said, “Don’t follow the pack, lead it.”Â I’m still working on that one LOL
But by far, the hardest thing I’ve had to learn as a writer (and probably will continue struggling to master for a long time to come) is how to walk the line between what I want to write, how I want to write and what will sell*–when you manage to hit the trifecta, my friend, it’s GOLD–the equivalent of a writing orgasm :D.Â And yes, there are some peeps who will rattle on about artistic integrity….blah blah blah *vomit*. Feel free.Â I have children to feed and my own moral compass to live by. I don’t need yours, but thanks so much!
*Case in point, this weekend, I tackled something I’ve been putting off for two or three months–the flipping of abt 100 pages of a proposal from 1st person present tense to 3rd person past tense. I even asked Charli and Gwen and Jen to take a look.Â Initially when I flipped the first twenty or so pages, it hurt, I cried, I gnashed my teeth, I drank lots of Coke andddddddddd I HATED HATED HATED the end result.
But after not writing all last week, by the time Friday rolled around, I kinda got smacked upside the head with a fix that I actually liked.Â So I spent the weekend chopping, flipping and tweaking (ok that sounds REALLY werid).
I still prefer first person, and as I added new material found myself slipping into first more than once, but overall I’m really happy with how the third person turned out.Â It didn’t hurt and it didn’t feel weird, so I think the other changes I made to the ms. helped make the third person version work.
JUNE WRITING CHALLENGE: I’ve pleged to write 50 pages in the first ten days of the month and 150 pages for the entire month. Raine and Denise are joining me with 100 pages AND Melissa Blue has pledged 50 pages.Â Anyone else want to weigh in for the June Writing Challenge, feel free to join us at any time.Â I need to find a word count meter that does pages instead of words….anyone?