I am a faithful reader of the life affirming and inspiring blog, Marc and Angel Hack Life (Practical Tips for Productive Living). I read every post and ponder a lot about what they say. Yesterday’s post 20 Things that Belong on Everyone’s “TO-DON’T” List got me thinking. So I decided to blog about my top 5 with regards to writing:
“Be a voice, not an echo. Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes. Find the courage to bring your ideas and dreams to life. Don’t compare your progress with that of others. We all need our own time to travel our own distance. It’s perfectly OK to be different.” (Marc and Angel Hack Life)
So here’s my top 5 don’ts. (and I have no idea why some of the letters insist on being so big)
1. Write like someone else
There’s a smorgasbord of talent out there and while it’s important for me to study it, I do not wish to copy it. Maybe they do make hoards of money and draw stampeding crowds of readers, but I’m not them, and as David Morell says a writer should not aim to be a second rate someone else. They should be the best at being themselves.
2. Forget how lucky I am to be writing
I’m really lucky to be able to sit down and spend time at my craft. This is easy to remember when I’m flying through an exciting bit of first draft. Not so easy when I’m slugging through editing a piece that just won’t gel. lol.
My blog now has more than 2000 followers. It’s fun and an honor to be able to communicate with so many people.
3. Meander from my own voice and vision
I could try to jump on the BDSM bandwagon, or write YA, but neither interest me. I need to follow my own path. I’m beginning to see a pattern here.
4. Let criticism swamp me
I received a so-called ‘good rejection’ this week from a NY city agent. Talk about an oxymoron <blush>. Rejections never feel good, even when they say it was a hard decision. But, as one friend said to me, “That means you’re getting closer.” Maybe.
What I do know is that you receive all kinds of criticism for your work in this business. I’m learning to mine it and use the gems to improve my craft.
5. Give up
Check out the number of rejections these writers got at Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity. Teaser – C.S. Lewis -800!
Your turn. What’s on your “TO-DON’T’ list? Sorry for shouting.