Tuesday, December 09, 2014
A Wish List For the Nice Writer
But I covered that holly-jolly idea last year in The One-Size-Fits-All Writer Gift. So then I thought about how you’ve been such an awfully nice writer this year. You deserve a couple sweet gifts of your very own, so check out these ideas from my wish list:
Permission To Write
How about this year, you push writing time to the top of the To Do list?
Instead of “getting to writing when you can fit it in,” schedule writing time. Or better yet, give yourself a writing retreat!
I know it’s hard to justify something that doesn’t immediately produce tangible results. But you have to look at the long haul: every time you write, you’re improving your skills in the marketplace. When you schedule—and follow through on it—you’re saying writing is important business. The rest of the world—family and friends—will get the message when you stick to it.
A Writing Class (Or Two)
I know it’s tempting to skip writing classes. After all, the web is jam-packed with all kinds of wonderful information, whether you’re interested in freelance or fiction. But there is nothing like the give-and-take of a class to take your writing to the next professional level. Feedback is what makes the difference, so when you sign up for a class, be picky about the instructor. Keep in mind that cost doesn’t always guarantee quality, so ask writer friends for recommendations and do your research to get the best bang for your bucks. (And P.S. We have lots of great classes here at WOW! Women on Writing!)
A Critique Is Always Nice
When I’ve worked on a manuscript to the point of seeing double—and when my critique group groans (loudly) as I pull out Chapter One for the 112th time—I do myself (and everyone else) a favor and get a professional, paid critique. I’ll sign up when I attend a conference, or I’ll contact writer friends for recommendations. (There are tons of great writers out there who supplement their income with manuscript evaluations.) The critique is a gift that can pay off big in your writing future.
A Few More Of My Favorite Things
Joining a professional writing organization is the gift that gives back all year long—but you’ll get out of the organization what you put into it. Get involved and take advantage of all the member benefits. Treat yourself to a conference and watch how you thrive being around all those writers! And treat yourself regularly to lunch or coffee with writer friends. It’s a tough business, writing, and a little camaraderie goes a long way.
Do you have something special on your nice writer list? Tell me all about it (so I can pass it along to The Beneficent Mr. Hall)!
~Cathy C. Hall