Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Write as Often as You Can by Diana Flegal

Have you heard the idiom that says, Practice makes perfect? Doing something over and over again, is the best way to learn it well.

Write as often as you can, in as many places as possible,
for as many years as you are able.

In the car, or the local juice bar.

While gazing at the stars, or listening to a guitar.

On the mountain top, or down in the valley.

Writing is what a writer does.

I can hear my daddy now, "Kitten, you're a poet, and you don't know it- your feet are Longfellow's!"

Writing as much as you can is good advice if you want to hone your writing skills. If I tried, I might, given enough time and effort, actually become a fair poet. (Did I just hear a collective groan?)

Bloggers get better at blogging AS THEY BLOG.

Novelists become better writers AS THEY WRITE.

But practice alone will not make one a great writer. As James Scott Bell cautions us here, we do not
want a brain surgeon cutting into our head that has only practiced on others, but never studied the brain and it's intracacies.

One also needs to study the craft of writing. Although each writer will have their particular voice, there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. There is a plethera of great writing resources on writing nonfiction, fiction, poetry, articles, devotions, and short stories. Use Amazon's search window to find the book to meet your particular need and situation.

The first novel a fiction writer crafts, might end up in a desk drawer and serve only to prime the pump, but the second or surely the third is often the book that catches the eye of an editor or agent.

Writers Advance Boot CampWriting Conference Season starts for me this weekend at the Asheville Christian Writers Conference held at The Cove in Asheville, NC. With a great group of instructors, writers can choose workshops based on their particular interests, and enjoy hanging out with those that 'get them'. Look for a conference near you or plan your vacation around one. Many writers I know make a particular conference an annual event.

Writers, please give a shout out in the comment section for your favorite conference.

And bloggers, check out this great Pinterest board to follow offering great blogging advice from Laura Christianson of Blogging Bistro.

Be patient, stay the course, study the craft of writing, and write as often as you can.

What is the weirest place you have written from, or the most exotic? (remember, this is a G-rated site).


Kristen said...

I love the Northwest Christian Writer's Renewal in the Seattle area. You should come back and see us again, Diana!

Karen Nolan Bell said...

I love different conferences for different reasons. BBMCWC is amazing for the options in fabulous teaching, networking, building your tribe, and for its atmosphere. Atlanta Christian Writers' Conference provides intense training in an intimate setting. Friendships with writers, editors, agents, and publishers have a better opportunity to grow there. And then there's the food, views, and fireplaces. Every conference, even the tiny ones, offer something to my writing journey. If I had the money, I'd attend every conference available.

Now, for a unique place I've written I would have to say the most memorable was the former hospital in a coal mining community in Harlan County, KY. I grew up near there and wanted to remind myself of the reality of the people instead of writing from my memories. I found this hospital, which is used to house missionaries to the area now. I chose a time of year when no one else was there--not purposely chosen for that time. I roamed the darkened halls of the four-story building all alone. At least I hoped I was all alone. The mountain man who checked me in and showed me to my room had told me not to worry if I heard noises at night and that it had nothing to do with the fact that I was staying in the old morgue.

Last year, I saw a program on TV about a group of ghost hunters who were investigating that same building. That's when I realized the handgun I carried with me was a waste of effort.

Diana Flegal said...

Kristen, I really enjoyed that one when I visited. Such a great group of writers and mentors, and that city is so charming, I felt its welcome as soon as my plane landed.

Karen, we have not heard from the others yet of places they have visited and written from, but I doubt anyone can top yours for 'weirdness'. :-) But then we are talking about creative's here. Weird is our game, isn't it?

Jeanette Levellie said...

What a fun post, Diana! Some of the poem even rhymes! Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

I've heard lovely comments about the Cove and the conference there. I hope you have a refreshing time.

I've attended several conferences and spoken at some as well. My all-time favorites are the Write to Publish in Wheaton, IL. and Montrose Christian Conference in Montrose, PA.

I have written while on the potty in the middle of the night. If you have a thought, you have to get it down before it flies away...

Diana Flegal said...

Ha Jen, I do not think we can call that an exotic place, so I guess we will have to put it under the weird column. Though I do know when I was growing up our bathroom was often a reading room, so why not a writing place. Many a busy parent has sought privacy in the bathroom. :-)