Posts Tagged: shareworthy

Goin’ Organic: It’s not just for veggies anymore

Mountain

I’ve been trying hard to let this writing thing I’m doing progress in the most organic of ways. But I get impatient sometimes…

It’s been a year and a half since I joined a weekly writers’ critique group. (Keep reading to the end for a sappy little tribute to this group and all the people in it!) This weekly deadline to produce something shareworthy has been a great motivator. So good, as a matter of fact, that if I go more than a week these days without writing something I feel the need to up the dosage on my antidepressant.

I read a quote somewhere that “It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.” Gerald Brenan wrote it. #goals

I don’t usually sit down to write first thing in the morning, but I do try to put pen to paper by eleven AM every day. It’s still morning, so I supposed I’m technically following Gerry’s instructions. This habit has grown my writing abilities in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Just writing every day. So simple.

Reading authors who write in similar ways as I do has been great, too. It’s helped me learn to take the ideas in my head and get them down on paper, but to do it in a way that my sentences are interesting and vary in length and structure. Reading well written stuff is like taking a creative writing class, if you pay attention to what you’re reading. It’s a lot cheaper, too. Plus, and maybe it’s just me or my penchant for letting things flow organically, but I’d rather learn by reading than have some hack, who happens to have some letters behind his/her name, corrupt my voice because I don’t follow the rules.

It’s breaking those rules that makes my writing interesting, sometimes. Like, the sometimes when I write a line with awkward syntax on purpose. Ew? You might think so, but there’s a reason I do it. Maybe I want you to think extra long on what the character is doing at that moment… 😉

So here I am, finally at a point where I feel like my writing is consistently good. Consistently heartfelt. Consistently has truth in it. Consistently gives voice to a character who wants to be heard. Yay me!

Now it’s time to get down with the business part of writing. I write because it satisfies my creative desires better than anything else does. Why write if nobody’s ever going to read it, though, right? Well, not really. I have pages and pages and files of stuff nobody will ever read. Stories and characters that I love, but aren’t prime time ready, so to speak. They were more practice stories than anything else.

Could I go back and edit to make them better? Change them so they might become worthy of publication? Sure. I could. But what if that changes those characters in some fundamental way? I might not want to do that. Besides, I think of it as similar to a baseball player practicing his swing. All those hours swinging, building that muscle memory so that he can bat a .300 season. That’s what those stories are for me. Precious because I fall in love with all of my characters, but more because it’s nice to look back and see how far I’ve come.

This business end, though. Yikes! It feels daunting. How do I build a following? How do I let readers know what I’ve written? How do I find readers who like to read the kind of stories I write? That’s where I am right now. This morning I found an article for how to grow my Twitter following. I’m about to hop over and read that right now.

Wish me luck in this new part of my writing endeavors. I’ve never been good at self-promotion, so along with the excitement I’m feeling, I’m also trying to make this feel like a normal thing to do: toot my own horn.

Now, about my writer’s group? AMAZING group of people. We encompass a huge variety of writing styles, genres, levels of creativity and experience, all in one back room at a pizza joint every Monday night. We have some amazing writers who I can’t wait to slap down a few bills to buy their books when they’re officially published. We also have some not so great, but trying really hard to get there, writers. I’m somewhere in the middle…

When I first started attending we were a weekly group of maybe ten, but sometimes as small as three, for a while. Now we’re consistently a group of over twenty writers meeting for pizza and reading, and sometimes yelling over what we’ve read. Always great advice, though. Always. I wouldn’t trade this group for any other. <3

Welp. You’ve made it all the way to the end! Maybe you’re interested in my most recent short story, Birthmarked. I wrote about it here. If so, drop a line in the comment section and I’ll send you a link!