We need a blanket with our coffee on the porch this morning, but it looks to be shaping up into a fine day. Today we are talking about Maralee’s journey and how she learned to sort through advice that is always willingly offered to writers. Let’s listen:
Thank you for allowing me to be part of your blog. I love helping new writers whenever I get the chance. After asking myself what is the one thing I wish I had been told when I was just starting my writing career I think it would be, “Listen to other writers, editors, teachers, your family and your friends, then write your own story.”
I’m not saying that you should ignore the advice of others. What I am saying is that the book (or short story or poem, etc.) you wish to write must come from your own heart, and your own personal experiences. I’ve found that if I talk about a story I’m writing, people have the tendency to want to “help” me with it by sharing their own ideas. In such cases it’s not unusual for them to become annoyed with me if I don’t include their ideas in my work.
When your project is completed is a good time to look it over, applying the knowledge you have gained from all of your advisors. Look for places where their advice will improve your work. I suggest that you read it over several times, always with the question in mind, “How can I make the story better?”
Keep in mind that when you first finish your piece, it is always a first draft. In other words, you are far from finished with it. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Then rewrite again, this time doing it as you read the book aloud to yourself. This is an absolute must, the importance of which I cannot emphasize enough. This is when your writing will become your very best work. And you never, ever want to send out anything but your best work. Never look at doing rewrites as a chore. But rather, that as a means of honing your craft.
Being the know it all that I suspect I am, I would love to share more of my writing experiences with your readers. I have written a series of “How to Write” articles on my blog at http://www.maraleelowder.com/Blog.html and invite anyone who is interested in the subject to visit me there.
That’s good food for thought, Maralee. It’s been a pleasure to have you on the porch today. To find out more about Maralee and her books, please visit the Porch Guests Page.