Saturday, November 24, 2012

Habits Are Good

Get into the Habit

A good part of writing deals with habits. I recall "back in the day" when I worked for a newspaper and the news room was full of people who smoked. That was when people smoked everywhere, including the workplace, and if your co-worker didn't smoke and hated the stench, tough! Smoking was a writer's habit. You couldn't get cooking without lighting a cigarette, taking a drag, and then getting down to work. It was a habit. A bad one, but a productive one when it came to getting your work done!

Flash to today when smoking is not allowed in the workplace, but habits still persist. When I first started working full-time from home, I got down to business generally around 11 a.m., right when "The Young and the Restless" began on my trusty background noise TV. I usually stopped writing when the news came on, right after the Oprah show. I discovered that it became very difficult for me to write on weekends because the theme music to Y&R was not to be heard. That music made me want to write! Consequently, when the news came on, I wanted to quit writing, no matter if I had hit my daily quota of finished pages or not!

Ah, yes. Quotas. Another good habit. I set a daily quota of pages. When I reach the magic number (mine is 10) then I can quit for the day. If I hit that number at 2 p.m. I'm done. If I don't hit that number until 8 p.m., then it is a long, frustrating writing day, but I don't quit until I have written 10 pages. It's habit and that habit makes me produce writing every day.

Do you have habits? Of course, you do! What are your good ones that help you as a writer? Won't you share?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Favorite Words

What are you three favorite (hardly used) words?

If you love to read or write, then you love words. Words can be fun, serious, painful, passionate, you name it! Most of us use only a smattering of the words we actually know. Everyone knows words that are loved but rarely used.

Today . . . and I say today because the list changes frequently -- my three favorite words that I hardly ever use are:

1. Indubitably (I like it because it is fun to pronounce)
2, Campy (It is too close to my name to use very often)
3. Ulula (Many years ago, I collected items that had owl motifs on them)

So what are your favorite three words that you hardly ever remember to put in a sentence? Post them here and let's keep it clean, folks.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fire in the Belly

In the Beginning . . .

When I first started writing novels with the intent of getting published (I wrote a few experimental stories when I was a pre-teen and teenager), I was obsessed. That's a good thing. Before you are published, you should be living, breathing, and dreaming about writing and getting published. I would work a full day at my "real" job as a newspaper reporter and then go home and sit at my dining room table and write until one or two in the morning. I stopped for dinner and bathroom breaks. That's it. Weekends were all about writing.

By doing this, I was able to complete several romance novels and they were all eventually published. True, I had no social life, but I had a plan. The plan was to be able to quit my journalism job and become a full-time novelist. I accomplished this eight years after graduating from college.

I actually wrote a novel in seven days. It was published. No, I won't tell you which one!

Today? Well, I couldn't write a novel in a week anymore, but I still have a fire in my belly and stories swimming in my head. I write 10 pages a day on top of my freelance writing work and my work with a local dog/cat rescue organization.

Sometimes novice writers who have received a number of rejection slips ask me, "Do you think I should just quit writing?"

I tell them, "If you are seriously asking me that question, then yes, you should quit because a writer who must write would never ask that of anyone."

Write well. Write often. Keep the fire burning.