What’s Holding You Back???

I can hardly believe it! Central Pennsylvania is experiencing a late Indian Summer, as they call it. The middle of November rarely affords us temperatures in the mid-70s. Color is still on the trees that are usually bare by now. But I’ll take it. On another topic, yesterday (November 10, 2020) was the 45th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The fated iron ore carrier sunk 535 feet beneath the waters of Lake Superior near Whitefish Bay. They lost all 29 crew members.

Moving on to happier things, let’s look at some things to avoid when writing, things that may interfere or slow you down.

1. Realize there is no definitive playbook you need to follow. Another way of looking at it is to do what works for you. No two writers are the same. No two methods work the same for different writers. Keep the general rules in mind, but never be bound by them.

2. Don’t get bogged down with “to outline or not to outline”. I’ve written books using detailed outlines, and others I’ve written without. Let your “feel” be your guide. You may or may not need to use an outline. Allow the story to determine how you will handle it.

3. Keep your creativity flowing. When it’s time to market your book, continue to work on ideas for your next project. You may need to work on your pitch, your book cover, or several other post-writing endeavors, but keep the new ideas coming. Rest. Reward yourself with some time off – but not too long. Creativity dies quickly.

4. Be open to criticism – especially if you ask for it. Every agent, publisher, or beta reader will have a different opinion and criticism of your work. Don’t plan on pleasing everybody because it will never -and I mean never- will happen. Take what you can. Improve on the areas you need to improve and let the rest go.

5. Don’t lower your guard with the basics. It doesn’t matter how wonderful the story is. The twist might be the greatest ever, but if the grammar stinks and the punctuation is terrible, it just won’t fly. Spellcheckers aren’t that difficult to use and take very little time. Grammarly or ProWritingAid can be a tremendous help, and there are free versions. There’s no excuse for sloppy writing. (So my question is this – Is spellcheckers” one word, two words, or hyphenated?)

Okay, chew on that awhile and I’ll see you next Wednesday!


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