Courage & Persistence

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Wisdom for Emerging Writers

One of the sweet benefits of being a Red Oak Penmonkey is our Monday morning Writers’ Check-in, an opportunity to connect with other writers for camaraderie and inspiration. Last week, we started with the ice-breaker, “What wisdom would you like to share with emerging writers?” Below are the responses, passed along with permission from the ‘monkeys. Write on…

~When you show up at the page, the words will follow.

~Don’t listen to people who say they write 8 hrs or 5,000 words a day. They’re (probably) lying. Just work the way it works best for YOU.

~If you think you want to write but don’t know where to start, check out Red Oak.

~If you’re stuck, get away for awhile—either physically or to other creative projects.

~Read. Read. Read: craft books and models of the type of work you aspire to write.

~Don’t quit your day job.

~Post-its and index cards can be your friend—physically manipulating your ideas can spark new ones and give you clarity.

~Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and learn from them.

~Show your work to other people; have the courage to expose yourself.

~Touch your writing in some way every day.

~Join a writing group as soon as you can, and, if it’s not right for you, find another one.

~Keep drafts to see your own progress. Something in an early draft may prove to be useful.

~Back up your writing!!! (Back it up somewhere else in addition to your computer.)

~Start with a small idea. We don’t know what something is “about” until we start to write it.

~Follow the advice of The Artist’s Way, and freewrite 3 pages every morning. You just might “find” something in there.

~There are lots of affordable or even free opportunities for writers. Become a student of writing.

~“The mind must paint before the brush.” See the world through your writer’s eyes.

~Get your butt in that chair, whether you feel like it or not.

Become a Member of “Red Oak Folk”

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When you join the “Red Oak Folk,” you become a member of a unique community: rich with people who know the challenge of the blank page and the victory of the well-chosen word. You show the world (and yourself) that you “own” your call to write. You’re ready to make your writing dreams come true—and have some fun along the way.

We recognize that the definition of writing “success” is different for each writer who comes through our door. From the aspiring novelist who wants to see their name on the cover of a book to the poet who wants to be published in a literary journal to the grandparent who wants to create a memoir for future generations, we take our writers where they are and give them the tools they need to take their writing to the next step and beyond.

Visit our Member Portal and learn about all you can gain from becoming a member.