Vision: A Resource for Writers
Lazette Gifford, Editor
Vision@sff.net
Holly Lisle's Vision

From Holly

Changes

By Holly Lisle 

2002, By Holly Lisle

Hi, folks!

So no one (or no one who has done it, anyway) has ever said writing was a stable way to make a living. Or a sane one. Due to publishing forces beyond my control, including the fact that Warner's parent company, AOL Time-Warner just posted a fifty billion dollar loss, I'm hunting for a new publisher. I'm currently pitching a proposal in my existing genre and branching out. Because of this, I'm off the site for a couple of months, except for five-minute drop-bys as I'm able. I'm simultaneously researching and writing way outside my usual turf, and it's tough. Drop by my weblog -- http://www.hollylisle.com/weblog/blogger.html  -- and see how the insanity is going.

What this last couple of weeks has demonstrated to me is that, in writing as in the rest of life, no battle plan survives that first engagement with the enemy. You think you know what you're going to be doing as a writer. You've mapped out your direction, planned your books, figured out what you want -- and then the rules change.

I had to assess who I was as a writer. Was I a fantasy writer? Or was I a writer, without the genre label? I decided that the joy for me was simply in telling stories to an audience, and I was more than willing to add a new audience, if possible -- even if I had to use a pseudonym to do it. You might decide differently -- that if you can't write in your favorite genre, or with your real name, you don't want to write at all. It's a tough choice. But flexibility -- a willingness to bounce when you hit obstacles -- can make a long- term career much more likely.

Now on to this issue. Every once in a while, no matter where we are in our writing, we need to take time to look at the foundations of the craft -- not telling stories or making art, but simply putting the words on paper in a professional, coherent manner. We need to look at our tools, and make sure they work, that they're in good repair, and that we know how to use them.

This is a "tools" issue -- we're looking at everything from grammar to manuscript revision. I hope you find it useful -- and I hope it offers you a few new ways to challenge yourself and enjoy your writing more.

Keep writing, keep believing.

Holly Lisle