How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... and How to Avoid Them

Friday, November 19, 2010

Old and New, the How and Why...

Do you remember having that special stuffed animal as a child? Mine was a red and white checked rabbit with a yellow bib, yellow hands and feet and yellow ears. I treasured Sally. She stood like Bugs Bunny. My sister's treasure was Whitey, also a rabbit. Whitey looked more like a real rabbit, all fours on the ground. We played long hours together. And then our grandparents gave us Cabbage Patch Dolls. We played for about a month with the new dolls. And then we never played with the dolls or our rabbits again.

Moving forward to my first camera, a 110. I mailed off the film and had the photos sent back. During my adult years, photography went digital. I rarely printed out the photos. They're all still stuck on the computers, flash drives, and memory cards. When I started scrap booking about five years ago, I was still behind on the digital age, as far as cameras go. So I cut and paste every thing in real life, with my own two eyes, touching the papers and prints. Then I discovered DIGITAL scrap booking! And now? Well, I do neither!

In college, I was a creative writing major. Then I later went back to school to get my K-6 teaching license. Now, as far as PROFESSIONS go, I do neither. (But that won't last for long, I hope.)

What's wrong with me?

I'm a writer, that's what. Writers and all other creatives sacrifice much in life to live out a dream. With my new job, I'm not about to start saying I don't have time to write. I'll just have to MAKE time. Why does the new always outshadow (is that even a word?) the old AND the new? Sometimes it even happens in my writing. I'll be happily working along on this grande idea and suddenly I get a NEW idea. I'll run with it for a while, then FLOP, both ideas are idly lying around begging to be molded.

Does that ever happen to you? If so, what do you do about it? How do you encourage the old to stay fresh, when there's clearly something new shouting for you to take a look at IT?

4 comments:

  1. It can be frustrating when that new idea comes along; it dangles there and taunts and teases and if you try and entertain the idea, it usually ends up going in a direction you didn't intend, and the thing you had been working on deteriorates.

    If that happens when I'm writing, I'll usually write out a chapter or so with the new idea; if it expands, then I'll focus more on it, but if it falls flat I go back to what I had been doing.

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  2. I've been on a 20 year hiatus! Literally! When I was in college, I majored in English with a Writing Concentration (a journalism degree, ugh! no creative writing concentration was offered!) I was doing a double load when I married my husband, then we moved around the world and I got a job in IT of all places...ugh! stuck in that too! I completely forgot about my desire to be an author there for a while. And then it finally hit me again and I must never forget and never give up again! NEVER!

    I don't really know what I will be doing to keep me remembering all this the next time it slips! Hopefully it won't! This whole PiBoIdMo has helped keep me on track this month. Can we have it all year long? I think everyone's encouragement is a great help!

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  3. Great question. Usually I'll give in to the new idea - for about a day, or maybe just a morning. I open a new document and write down everything that flows naturally - bits of dialog, ideas for subplots, scenes - until I start to stutter. When the flow slows, I may keep the document handy on my desktop for a few more days - just to be safe - but I return to my previous WIP. More than likely, I'll be at more "worky," less glamorous stage of my WIP, so I take great care not to to give in to the temptation to permanently drop it for the new fling.

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  4. I've had a few stories like that and one is now a poem and the other is not commercial so the changes I fancy making to it are going to take a back seat for now. There's nothing wrong with that at all and PiBoldMo has really helped with brand new ideas. I can't wait to get those on paper. For now I am happy to slog it out with my rhyming MG novel, which I truly think i am writing for pleasure at the moment rather than commercial. The only thing that makes me say that is I am totally enjoying writing it. But then again I love all first drafts. It just takes longer with MG so I get to enjoy it for longer. There is no harm in putting stories on the shelf and there is no harm in having a break either. At least you read a lot and that is wonderful.

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