Vision: A Resource for Writers
Holly Lisle's Vision
By Jim Mills
2002, By Jim
I intend to make writing my new full-time career.
Others have done it; I can, too. Writing
lets me work at home, rather than commuting to an office or worksite.
That's nice, but it has its own difficulties. I find that when I work at home, it is easy to loaf and get
no work done, so I need to exercise more self-discipline.
In other words, I need to kick myself in the butt and get to work.
To quote my aunt Carol, "It ain't easy."
Unemployment struck January 31, 1997. I have since worked some consulting assignments off and on,
but I haven't found day-job work at all this year and the finances have been
very tight, with savings dwindling. This
seems to be a common affliction for aspiring writers. Fortunately, I have The Lady Valerie, a very understanding
wife, and things have been tight, but not too bad (yet). Financial hardship is one of the prices I pay to transform
myself into a writer.
Another price to pay:
I started writing seriously in November 1999 and found that I had a lot
to learn. There is so much
to learn about this craft, and I'm not sure if it ever ends. Fiction writers have to tell stories that entertain, in
whatever genre we write. That
sounds easy. We're all storytellers
at heart, but telling a good story is another matter.
There are many rules of writing. For
example: "Show, don't tell" -- simple, yet profound.
We writers must learn the rules by heart until they become second nature.
I try to keep a regular routineand write first thing in
the morning, when my mind is fresh and the creative juices seem to flow more
easily. Later in my day, I read,
critique, and/or revise. I find
that I have to read "how-to" books in order to better learn both
storytelling and writing craft. Every
book has something new to teach, and many times they reinforce what I already
know. I subscribe to several
writers' magazines and read them on a regular basis.
Genre magazines are also a must read, since I write fantasy and science
fiction. As a writer, I must know
what is current in the genre in which I choose to write.
I post my work on Holly's site for others to read and critique, and I
return critiques -- that's the deal, though it's sometimes hard to "get to
it." And I revise my work.
Writing is my job, and this is all part of the job.
I have to make myself write. If I wait for the muse to urge me to it, I won't get much
writing done. A thin wallet is a
much better motivator, but it all comes back to self-discipline. Setting a routine and a schedule for myself helps.
I try to write a chapter a day, sometimes two.
I expect to finish my current book by the end of December, do
"final" revisions, and start sending it out in January.
Then I can revise my first novel, Lord of Change.
After that, I have several ideas for new novels to write.
I plan to be busy. <g>
Good luck with your work -- and keep writing!