TMI? Don’t Try to Take It All In

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Recently I was talking to a brand new writer. She had joined an international writers’ organization and was struggling to remember all of the information she had received. “I feel like I’m not taking it all in!” There were several of us long-timers in the meeting and we assured her that she wasn’t going to be able to and that was okay. 

The reality is that even those of us who had been working for the organization for 20+ years remember only a portion of the information available.  Want to know about writing nonfiction? Talk to me or Chris. Picture books? Ann and Toni are the queens. 

None of us can remember everything there is to know about writing. So what do you do? 

Lately I’ve been learning about writing graphic novels. When I see a graphic novel I want to read, I request it from the library. Books on graphic novel writing? I request those too. I’m also taking part in a daily drawing challenge. 

That doesn’t mean that these are the only books I request. I do a lot of social justice reading and writing. I love sitting down to read a stack of picture books. And cozy mysteries are a guilty pleasure. But when it comes to acquiring new writing knowledge, my focus write now is on graphic novels and graphic writing. 

Other things that are interesting aren’t my current focus. How do you keep track of these things? There are several possibilities.

Maybe You Don’t 

Like I said earlier, you can’t keep track of all the writing information and that’s okay. You can just let things you don’t need right now slide. 

Library Wish List 

If you are determined to keep track of a book that will certainly be a good resource for you in the future, look it up at your library. But don’t request it or check it out. Instead add it to your wish list. 

E-mail Folder 

I also keep an e-mail folder for interesting books, etc. When I get an e-mail for a book that doesn’t slot into my current interest, I slip it into this folder. When I find a book online, a quick click captures the screen and that too goes into the folder. 

It doesn’t matter whether you write for children or adults, fiction or nonfiction, essays or devotionals. There is only so much information that you can take in at any given time. 

Focus on what you are working on. You can Google other topics later or you can turn to your wish list or that handy folder. No one but no one can stay on top of it all. 

Me? I’m focusing on graphic novels and sketching daily. So if you’ll excuse me, today’s CreativeBug drawing challenge is seed pods. 


Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 30 books for young readers.  To find out more about her writing, visit her site and blog, One Writer's Journey.

The next session of her new course, Pitching, Querying and Submitting Your Work will begin on April 3, 2022).  Coping with rejection is one of the topics she will cover in this course.

Sue is also the instructor for  Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins April 3, 2022) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins April 3, 2022). 


Cathy C. Hall said...

You're so right about this one, Sue, and sometimes I think a new writer gets so overwhelmed by the vast amount of info available that they shut down or drop out. And that's a shame when just taking a moment to step back and be a little choosy is what's needed.

For what it's worth, I do the same when it comes to a project. I call it "immersion therapy"...hope your graphic novel is coming along well!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I just wish they understood that we all felt this way and still feel this way. It would help not to think you were in a worse place than everyone else.

At the moment, the graphic novel is on hold. Deadlines! But I've been playing around, sketching, keeping limber.

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