Sunday, April 6, 2014

Writing Willpower


Last week I wrote of the many elements needed to create a fabulous book. One element I forgot to mention, however, is one of the most important of all:

Without it you'll never finish your novel no matter how magnificent and talented you are at writing.

The art of perseverance comes in many forms and is tough to master. Most prevalent is the ever difficult never-give-up attitude no matter what obstacles block your way and knock you down. The motivation to set goals and keep them -- the ability to reset and reboot when you don't.
Another word for perseverance is grit. A wonderful word that brings to mind the hard, sweaty, pushing through a wall of dirt image. The grit to succeed.

...And the satisfaction of completing a novel!

One stepping stone to not only finish a manuscript but produce a well-crafted, can't-put-down story, is having a critique partner or partners. Also doing research, taking classes, attending workshops, conferences and retreats. And being involved with whatever group you can find that offers like-minded writers with the same professional focus as yourself.

Another option: Writing contests.

Contests are offered by nearly every genre and writing organization available. They are a great way to get your work (most often anonymously) judged and critiqued by fellow writers. Many offer the top scorers incentives including a read through -- and sometimes a critique -- by editors from publishing houses and notable literary agents.

Another way to hone your skills as a writer is to volunteer your services as a judge for contests. This is an excellent way to identify what works and what doesn't in a story. It helps us to read and evaluate the written word, to learn and grow as writers.
I know judging and critiquing contests has helped me immensely.

We all need a healthy dose of perseverance just to get through our daily lives. For a writer, working at the business of crafting a novel ... Supersize it!

** Look for future postings with more specific information about critique partners, writing organizations, conferences, and contests.


Robin said...

This is a wonderful, insightful post! I think having the grit to keep writing and stay with a story is key to success. Thanks for sharing.

Dell Smith said...

Thanks Cindy. Don't forget, reading blogs on writing helps too!

Cynthia Sherrick said...

Excellent suggestion, Dell. Thanks for reading!