Points to Remember…

Points to Remember…

Recently I was chatting with a young woman about writing. She hoped to pursue it as a major in college and wondered what it was about and what advice I might give. In doing so, I reminded myself of some points regarding both writing and life I’d rather not forget – and too often do. So I thought I share them with you. They may help you – and writing them down will certainly help me.

 

  1. What would you tell your young writing self? This was one of her first questions. “Just chill” popped out of my mouth immediately. I think we can get so caught up in the chaos surrounding writing and life – and where we think we are supposed to be headed – we forget the joy of the process. Wild success or a long struggle for publication or in reaching for any goal in life can derail you on either side of the spectrum. I encouraged her to enjoy the story she was living and relish the process of writing and of work. I also added that all stories can’t be told at once – just as we necessarily can’t “have it all” at one time or in one season… While I always wanted to be a writer, it brought me only frustration in my twenties and early thirties. Moves, kids, work, other important priorities had to take precedence. I couldn’t get a handle on the stories I wanted to tell, nor could I eek out the time to tell them. But things shifted in my late thirties and the opportunity came – and I suspect I needed those years. So again, I encouraged her to enjoy the journey and trust that no experience is wasted.
  2. What would you give up to become a better writer? It was an interesting question and made me think about the details that fill my days. I noted at the end of last year, a lot of goofing off had entered my writing time. Whenever the phone beeped, I was there! So one go
    al for this year has been more focus and a more concerted effort to minimize distractions. So far, I have made small improvements and chatting about it helped reinforce those efforts. I think it’s a good idea to take look at what fills our time and what we could amend, to either become better writers or better people – ideally become better at both. And I can’t do that just once in a year, in January. I need to revisit time and time again…
  3. What is your number one recommendation? Of course, this was advice to a young writer. But I might give this advice to all of us. We here at Austen Authors love stories – good stories – and stories have power. Studies show that novels actually make us more empathetic as we appropriate a character’s journey and absorb more about frailty and glory of our shared human natures. So I say – Read, Read, Read. Both for writing and for life.

 

I hope your 2018 has started well and that there is much to hope for in this new year.

See you next month…

Katherine

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7 Responses to Points to Remember…

  1. 2018 is interesting and brought changes but has been good. Very nice post and I love to read so I have no trouble following your advice!lol I think reading does make you better.

  2. Oh, fun! Your answers are great! Hmm… let me think…

    1) Errors will happen. Bad reviews will happen. Do what you can to eliminate the first and ignore the second. You’re going to have to live with both.

    2) Almost anything. Anyone or thing (loved ones, pets) who wants some of my time will tell you (assuming pets could talk) their main competition is my work, by far, bar none. A distant second is housework. I like an orderly house 🙂

    3) Be in love with every story you write while you’re writing it. It should feel like the best work you’ve done so far.

  3. Delightful post and most excellent advice. You can not become so focused that you forget to live. As we journey through life… we have various pursuits but… we must also live. One day you will wake up and realize you have failed to lived life to its fullest. Thank you for your thoughts and blessings on your writing.

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