The Best Advice I Ever Received

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Trying to change is sometimes not worth it

books in a stack (a stack of books)

The best advice I ever received was to stay true to myself, especially as relates to my writing process. I’ve tried two different times to change the way I work based on advice from friends that are also writers. Friends who think the way I write is crazy- I usually write 4-5 chapters in order, then the ending comes to me and I write the last chapter, then the second to last chapter. AND, I might even write a scene that comes to me and insert it somewhere in the middle. I do not do an outline. I let the story lead me. New characters pop up and cause some havoc with the protagonist. If I planned ahead, I’d never have the fluidity to have the story “happen.” 

The first time I tried to change, the joy was completely sucked out of my writing. I took an online class from a member of my RWA chapter. All the rules and instructions tied my brain in knots, so I had to let go of the teacher’s lessons and go back to my way. The other time I tried to change was very recently on the advice of another RWA chapter mate. She edits each chapter as she goes and then moves on. Tried that. Got bogged down at Chapter Two. Couldn’t move on. Edited the hell out of Chapter One.

That’s when I finally took that advice. Be true to your own process. So, I’m back to my wonky, wild, weird, writing style (How was that for alliteration?) and I am humming along again on my newest manuscript. Next time I’m tempted to change, someone please remind me that it probably isn’t worth it.

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2 responses »

  1. Well I am soaking up your advice like a sponge!!! The notebook by the bedside has yeilded some very funny stories—since I’m on Ambian!! I really am enjoying writing more thanks to you!! Just have to limit my stories and focus on finish them….

    Thanks again and love ya!!!

    • The stage between sleep and waking is called the hypnogognic state and that’s when the subconscious is closest to the conscious level. That’s where the best ideas come from. Mining those ideas is where I get a lot of my stories.

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