Saturday, February 12, 2011

Is Your Writing a Fling, or the Real Thing?

Image from Flickr

Ahh.. the first blush of a new love: the excitement, the intensity--you are swept up, head over heels, crazy for...your new writing project.

Do you imagine spending sweet time with your new love, exploring your heart in ways you never thought possible? Do you predict the two of you enjoying time between the covers--of a beautifully crafted book?

Or...will your grip on to your new obsession last for just a short while, only to be tossed it to the side? Are you taking a "friends with benefits" approach to your writing?

Today's Excuse: I like it, but I can't put a ring on it.

Excuse Editor Tips: Transforming Your Writing Fling to the Real Thing

Notches On Your … Pencil
Are you skipping from project to project, writing each off because the next idea may be better? Even if you hear one of them calling you back, you ignore it and rationalize that if it was "the ONE" you would have known by now. Not that you gave it a chance. Limit your distractions. Your work doesn't deserve the floozy treatment.

Ahem...Other People's Projects! Writers love to help each other, but once it interferes with your own writing enough to become damaging, it's time to back off. Head back home and spend some quality time with your own writing. Of course, you may use what you've learned to spice up your writing a bit (hey, this is a writing post, get your mind out of the gutter!), just be sure to make it your own.

When you are penning your ideas in the heat of passionate inspiration, you may think that is enough. But sweet words only go so far, your writing requires action. Are you nourishing it with careful editing? Working through the knots in your writing releases tension just like a good massage.

People in long-term relationships look back fondly at the beginning of their time together: "Remember when...?" The time spent, the events, the conversations--all of that started a couple down the road of commitment. Just as couples need to revisit and sometimes re-enact that time together, writers need to bring back that lovin' feeling to their own writing. Feeling bogged down with deadlines? Imagine the excitement of getting that first assignment. You can choose to feel the same way now. When you made the decision to be a writer, you set aside time to write. Are you allowing other things to get in your way these days?

Some of your inattentiveness may not be on purpose, per se, it's just that the necessary daily activities-- the things that are supposed to support you and your writing: your day job, your Facebook Fan Page, your blogging, etc.--have taken you away from the heart of the matter: your passion, your love, your writing project.

Make It Last Forever
Staying true and committed takes love, compromise, communication and balance.

  • Nourish your writing by creating Date Nights (or mornings, or afternoons) and set aside time for your writing.
  • Show (don't just tell) your writing that you are sincere. Put the effort into developing the best work possible, and share your writing goals with others and stick to them.
  • Commitment Ceremony: You're a writer, so you are always "putting it in writing." Submitting your work is another way of making the love of writing publicly known. By announcing to the world your intentions to create a loving relationship with your writing, you show that you are serious.
  • Love, honor, and cherish each other by stepping back at times; it will make reconnecting later that much more beneficial. Don't smother your manuscript. If it is not doing what you want it to do, constant nagging will not help. Give it a breather, come back with a clear head later.

Write. Love. Hope.

Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. This was great! Someone once gave the great advice to "first get it written, then get it right." That advice helps me finish a first draft, not matter how hard it is. And you know what? The first draft isn't as awful as I though it would be. Thanks for the great information.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Julie! Get it written, then get it right IS worth repeating.


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