Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Writing- A Way of Life

I started writing 5 years ago, but when I started, it was more of a hobby than anything serious. I had made a list of the top 100 things I wanted to do before I died (morbid, I know) and writing a novel was on that list. I started checking things off my list (like walking on the Wall of China!) but lurking in the back of my mind was #14- Write a novel.

Easy peasy right? Hardly. It wasn’t easy. And I had NO idea what I was doing. Even today I’ve got to say to anyone who has written a novel “Wow.” Because it is a wow. Just the mere fact of sitting your bottom into the chair and being disciplined enough to be able to write “The End” is huge. Never let someone tell you otherwise.

I go back and read some of the pages from that first book atrocity and cringe.

And smile.

Because that’s where it all started. In the awfulness of that first book it made me the writer I am today. It really is an encouragement to compare my writing then and now. So if you’re ever feeling down, go back and read some of your first pieces of writing. You’re going to feel a whole lot better.

Then there’s the fact that this is only the beginning. Think of how much better I’ll be in another five years. Because it’s a never ending process. Reading, writing, learning, listening.

Steven Malk gave me some fantastic advice at a writing conference. He reminded me to never rush my writing career. Take my time to write my very best because isn’t that what I want the world be to reading?

My very best.

~ Christina


  1. Lovely post, Christy! How close are you to finishing your list of 100? I've never tried doing that but it sounds cool.

    I'm a bit scared to look back at some of my early writing...but maybe I should. I think it's important to compare writing at the same stage, e.g. polished writing to polished writing, not polished writing to rough draft writing.

  2. I like that advise the Steven Malk gave you. Very simple, and very true.

  3. That really is true Andrea. It would be a good comparison.

    Bish- yes, I was so lucky to have Steven Malk critique one of my stories. I have to admit it was one of my earlier works and I think I've come a long way this then! But he was amazing. My critique was his last one and he sat with me and answered all of my questions and we chatted until they kicked us out. Great guy. I wish I could pick his brain everyday!

  4. I couldn’t agree more… getting publish is the end goal, but growing and enjoying what I do is the moral of it all.
    The writing I did in the beginning was atrocious, it was nearly incomprehensible… I hope when I look back five years from now, I don’t think the same about my work today, (which I probably will) at least if I do, I hope I can see the good as well.

    Nice post, keep up the good work.

  5. That's great advice. Everyone's in a rush to write a book and be published. But it's better to slow down, study the craft, and really learn what it will take to make your book/writing better. :D

  6. That's great advice. Sometimes I feel like I need to get published ASAP so that I will have validation that I'm not wasting my time. It's kind of embarasing to work so hard at something when you don't know if you'll ever make anything of it. But then again, I love it so much, it's fun, I am getting better and it gives me a good outlet and it's theraputic . . . . so is it really a waste of time if I never get published? Nope! But if I keep working at it and learning my odds get much much better. :0)

  7. Wonderful advice. My old writings are filled with so much narrative and telling, it's embarrassing! This is not a hurry-up-and-finish type of business. No matter how fast you produce, you still have to sell. Right now, my agent tells me that it's taking editors 4-9 months to get back on submissions that they've requested. I certainly have learned patience.

  8. Great post. Like CR said, it's an outlet and a great form of therapy. I just hope I get better the longer I do it.

  9. Jeff- it is amazing the differences, isn't it?

    Stina- yeah, but it's hard to not get caught up in the rat race, isn't it?


    Kris- that is really amazing about editors taking so long. The publishing business sure hasn't taken the fast food mentality

    Rena- I love that word of therapy. Writing really can be that.

  10. Great advice from Mr. Malk.

    I was in a big rush when I first started writing. I made so many mistakes, all because I was eager to be published. But I first had to have a quality manuscript to meet my goals. My haste was holding me back. These days I take forever and a day to revise something.

  11. I've spent the last nine years working on my first novel. It's been my learning ground. I've enjoyed the revisions, because I'm always learning something new and can apply it to my WIP. In between I've worked on other projects, but it's my first novel I am most proud.


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