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.