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How to Make the Rereading/Editing Process Easier!

Hey everybody! As many of you are already aware, I’ve been working on rereading and editing my current work in progress! At first, I have to admit, the process was going pretty slow and I wasn’t enjoying it in the least. However, after making some minor adjustments to how I went about things, the process became a lot easier and more enjoyable. Here are the steps I took!

1.) Print out what you’ve written so far – This may sound obvious, but at first I was reading what I had written so far on the computer. I found it difficult and annoying. Once I printed it, everything became easier and less of a pain.

2.) Pick out some helpful editing tools – A great way to facilitate the editing process is to find some writing instruments that are helpful. For example, I’m using a pen and highlighters to help highlight any edits that need to be made and make any notes necessary.

3.) Take breaks – Reading over your work is important, but that’s no reason to cram everything in at once. Read your work like you would any other book you read for your enjoyment – take your time and soak up the words. Rushing through the process just makes it feel like more of a chore.

4.) Try to get lost in the story – This may be difficult, but try not to focus on the fact that you wrote what you’re reading. Read the pages like any other piece of work – focusing on the plot, characters, and words!

These are the steps that I’ve found help facilitate the rereading and editing process. Feel free to use them and see if they work for you! If you have any further suggestions, I’d love to read about them in the comment section below! Thank you!

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Writing Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely

While I was perusing Instagram, I came across the quote by Stephen King – “Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference”.

I have to say that I’m not sure I agree with Mr. King. Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree that supporting one another’s writing is of the utmost importance. What I don’t think I agree with is that writing is a lonely job.

Yes, writing is something that – unless you’re co-writing – you do alone. However, I wouldn’t say that writing makes me feel lonely. In fact, when I’m writing, I feel a part of something – part of the writing community, part of the story I’m writing, and well – in touch with myself. I don’t feel like writing’s very lonely at all.

I will tell you something that helps though – the amazing amount of support that I’ve accumulated through my writing journey. I’ve met new friends, bonded with my family, and earned a better sense of myself all through sharing the written word. So this is why I wonder – why do some people feel that writing is such a lonely job?

If you feel lonely as a writer, I recommend you reaching out to fellow writers. Be safe while you do so, of course, but try to bond with those who share the common interest of the written word. Maybe even consider co-writing with someone you trust, or simply talk about your experiences with writing.

Do you find writing a lonely job or hobby? Why or why not?

 

 

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Patience and Writing

Many writers are probably aware that writing can be extremely tiring. It’s not so much that it’s not enjoyable (I know that I personally love writing), but it often requires a lot of patience. After all, what do we want more as writers than to publish our work? To get it out there for the world to read? However, the reality lies in the fact that truly good writing usually does not occur over night – it takes time.

There is nothing wrong with being a little impatient when writing. In fact, in my opinion, it’s almost a good thing! I think it tends to show how dedicated we are in achieving our final goal of finishing our projects. On the other hand, though, we must be aware that there is a difference between feeling a bit impatient and actually rushing through our work. Rushing when writing isn’t something that I recommend – especially if you don’t absolutely need to finish your project by a certain date.

Again, I understand wanting to finish our work – to get our writing published and share it with those around us as soon as possible. There’s nothing wrong with that. Our writing is important though, and by extension, so is waiting until it’s at its very best to share it with the world. While I believe that no writing can ever be perfect, I do believe in putting our best foot forward and I don’t think that we can do that by rushing.

So here is my view on having patience when writing – I think it’s essential. I think it’s important to stay excited about whatever you’re writing, while keeping in mind that rushing through your work will not make it better.

 

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Trust Your Instincts!

I learned an important lesson the other day.

As many of you may know, I’d been struggling with my current work in progress. My plan for the novel was to write it a little differently than my other two books, so naturally I was a bit worried. Self-doubt caused me to start over from the beginning twice and let me tell you, each time I rewrote the draft, I was even more unhappy than I was with the previous copy. In the end, I realized that my first draft was indeed the best and that nothing was really wrong with it. In fact, I liked how it had turned out.

As writers, we all half self-doubt. Is our work good enough? Is it something people will want to read? Will it get decent reviews? Are we talented enough to pull this off? All of these questions enter our minds as we write our hearts out. There is nothing wrong with wanting to put our best foot forward, but sometimes we overthink our writing so much, that we end up digging our own holes. The deeper we dig, the harder it is to get ourselves out.

I decided that I needed to let things go. I decided that the more I nitpicked at every single sentence I wrote, the worse things were going to get. You know what? I was right. I read over my original draft and really liked it. I was almost upset that I wasted my time doubting myself. Instead of obsessing over whether or not my writing was good enough, I could have been working on my original draft. Sometimes we just need to step back and trust our instincts. I realized that I’m a good writer and although I’m not perfect, I should allow myself to write without thinking too much about what I’m putting down on paper. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t care, but we shouldn’t convince ourselves that we’re not talented, when in reality, just the opposite is true!

 

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Pushing Yourself To Write

I have mixed feelings about forcing oneself to write. When I was younger, I used to focus a lot on counting words – I don’t do that anymore. Unless I’m writing for a contest where there’s a minimum/maximum amount of words one can write in order to be eligible to win, I really don’t concern myself with word count. Another area in which I don’t believe in pushing oneself to write is when you absolutely, positively do not feel like writing. I strongly believe that writing should be something that one enjoys – something that one wants to do.

Let me be clear. The above statement does not mean that I don’t think writers should never force themselves to sit down and work. Especially lately, I’ve been putting off working on my current work in progress. Why? Because the writing process seems more difficult than with my previous works. This story has many plots, parts, and the writing style is more complex. Do I want to write this story? Absolutely! Am I excited to see the finished product? One hundred percent, yes! The problem (or rather, the truth of the matter), however, is that in order to finish a project, you have to work on it!

Sometimes we don’t feel like writing. Sometimes we’re too scared that we’ll write something and mess up what we already have. As stated by Scott Berkun (a quote I recently saw on Instagram), “It’s not the fear of writing that blocks people, it’s the fear of not writing well; something quite different.”

It’s hard at times not to fear poor writing. After all, our goal as writers is not just to write, but to write well enough that others will want to read our work. Remember that there is no rush when writing whatever you’re writing. Remember that if you take your time, work consistently, and have faith in yourself, you can and will write something that you’re proud of!

 

 

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Why Honesty Is The Best Policy

Let’s talk honesty. Let’s talk kindness and respect. Let’s talk about how we should use both of them when sharing our opinions.

When someone asks for our opinion about their writing (or really anything), I firmly believe that honesty is always the best policy. Period. However, I also believe that we should share that honesty in a kind and respectful way. For example, if we read a book and we don’t care for it, I don’t think we should say something like: “Your writing is awful! or “Your plot makes no sense!”. Rather, we should find a nice, but honest, way of expressing our feelings.

Honesty is the best policy for many reasons. Most writers and authors (including myself) want to know how they can improve their writing. We take our work seriously and we don’t want people to say they like our writing just to spare our feelings. Simply being kind without honesty does not help us become better writers, it merely makes us feel that there is nothing we need to work on. For most of us, we want to be the best we can be. This doesn’t mean we have to point out every little flaw to each other, but it does mean that if we don’t like something and we think it’s relevant to mention, that we should.

Honesty, however, is very different from going out of your way to be hurtful. Like I said, there is a huge difference between being honest in a kind, helpful way and just being cruel. So when someone asks for your opinion or a review, tell them the truth, but try to do so in a considerate manner. Chances are that the writer will appreciate you taking the time to discuss any issues with them while also, of course, appreciating your kindness while doing so.

The bottom line is this – don’t be afraid to be honest. Just do so in a way that is respectful.

 

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Stuck.

As a writer, I hate to admit the following. At the same time, however, I think it’s important for us to share our experiences with other writers – to show each other that we’re not alone in our writerly struggles. So tonight I’d like to talk about feeling stuck when working on our stories and other written work.

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I’m working on a romance/fantasy novel. While I love the concept of the story, the plot, and the characters, I feel like I’m having a bit of a hard time getting from points A to B. I have a pretty good idea of how I want the story to end and what I want to happen throughout the course of the novel, but actually writing the story is proving to be a bit more challenging than expected.

The problem I’m having is that I feel a lack of action in the story. As I was writing, I just slowly felt like I was losing momentum, like the story was stalling and I wasn’t sure where to go next. The need to come up with something ‘big’ to take place seems essential and at the moment, I don’t know what that ‘big’ event is going to be.

While in a way I guess you could consider this issue writer’s block, I consider it more along the lines of being stuck. To me, writer’s block is not knowing what you want to write and being completely devoid of ideas. I know what I want to write; where I want my story to go. It’s just that getting there seems a bit tricky and I’m still trying to figure out how to figure out the gaps so that my story can be a successful one.

I may be experiencing some issues with my current work in progress, but I’m not ready to give up on it. I actually quite like what I’m working on and abandoning the story is not something I want to do. While I hate the fact that I’m stuck and that the story is at the moment just sitting there, waiting to be written, I’m not ready to walk away. I see a lot of potential and that’s what’s important.

If you’re going through the same thing that I am and you like your story, yet feel a bit confused as to how to get from points A to B, don’t be too quick to give up on your project. Sometimes what we’re working on takes a week and sometimes it takes a year. Heck, it might even take longer. The amount of time it takes to write your short story, novel, poem, or other piece of writing doesn’t necessarily matter. What truly matters is that you’re happy with what you write and that you feel it’s done properly.

Here’s a piece of advice: if your having a difficult time with your work in progress, take a break. If you still like the idea, characters, and overall plot, read over your story and try hard to think of what to do next. Don’t immediately abandon your project just because you’re struggling with it. Just because something takes time to write and isn’t the easiest work to produce, doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be written.