Tuesday, October 11, 2016

How to fail as a writer

This post is not original. Indeed, not even the headline is my own. But when you come across words that express an idea/thought/concept so well, why tinker with perfection?
The thought for and the basis of this post is from freelance writer, Dawn Field, a former research scientist whose book Biocode was published by Oxford University Press. Her post on BookBaby has twenty-three suggestions for all aspiring writers who want to sabotage their writing career. I am not going to quote them all—go to her post—but I do want to highlight several I've come across in writing classes and writing groups. For example:
1. Don't worry too much about your opening line. Readers will soon be past it and into the good stuff.
4. Go with your first complete draft as your final draft. Your gut instincts were correct the first time around; you'll just dilute them when you edit.
5. Only write when the urge hits you. If you need discipline to write, it's not really writing.
18. If an editor critiques your writing, stick to your guns that it's his fault he didn't understand "what you really meant." 
 I think the only idea I would add to this list is something like the following:
24. Your writing is you and you are your writing; if someone criticizes your writing she is criticizing you as a person. You are right to be hurt.
But Field's list is something I am going to keep for future writing groups. Check it out her twenty-three rules for failure.

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