Tuesday, August 14, 2012
A Trick To Better Writing
I invested in myself. Tadaa!
Er, it occurs to me that you might need to see how the trick works.
Back in the day when I decided to get serious about writing fiction, I sat down at my computer and typed away. But there was a problem. My stories lacked a certain je ne sais quoi.
Okay, that’s not true. I knew what my stories lacked. I needed to brush up on important story elements. Stuff like plotting, pacing, theme, characterization, and setting. I needed feedback. I needed an instructor. And I needed money in order to take the writing class that would provide all that stuff.
Now, I happen to be married to a swell guy. We’ll call him The Beneficent Mr. Hall (because that’s what I call him). And he certainly would’ve given me the money I needed. But I knew that if I spent my own money, I’d work harder. So I set out to earn that money.
I wrote essays and entered contests and pestered editors to run my column, and eventually, the dollars added up. I took a beginner’s class that wasn’t too expensive. After I finished that class, I knew I needed an advanced class. So I wrote more essays, and tried web content writing. It wasn’t always fun, writing about topics like, “How Owls Can Keep Your Backyard Safe From Predators.” But I kept my eye on the goal and earned enough money for the next class.
I continue to sell my words, investing money back into my career. I won’t quit because I have too much of my own money invested. And besides, I know my fiction writing is getting better and better.
You can motivate yourself, too. Even if your writing’s not at the point where it’s earning big bucks, think outside the box. I have a friend who teaches piano lessons to supplement her writing income so that she can afford conference fees.
The trick is in the personal financial investment. Believe in yourself enough to put your own hard-earned money in your writing and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll get back. Tadaa!
~from Cathy C. Hall (The Magnificent)
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