Thursday, February 14, 2008

What NOT to do when writing ...

This week, we're talking about BAD WRITING HABITS. And mine seem to come directly from my own writer insecurities and "issues." Yikes. So here's a list of things I think you SHOULDN'T do while working on your next best seller!


Doubt yourself -- you'll have plenty of time to do that AFTER you finish your first draft.
Over edit, killing your voice, losing the spontaneity and magic of the trade.
Read the same genre you're writing in EG. I'm a YA writer. When I read, while working on a new manuscript, I don't read YA. I read adult, biography, historical .. and mostly in Spanish. It's really easy to pick up another author's voice and style.
On the same note, if you read the same genre while working on your own MS, if you're anything like me, you'll probably freeze and think, "This is bloody genius." And being genius, you'll look back at your 20000 words and think it's drivel. The books we read are EDITED, REVISED, EDITED, REVISED and have been through a lot before getting to the "bloody genius" stage.

We write because we have stories clattering around in our brains. Don't let anybody tell you your story isn't:
Original (none are .. really .. it's all about HOW you tell it)
Worth telling
Something you are capable of telling

Basically, don't listen to the "great voice of negativity". People will always be there telling you you CAN'T. But you can. You will. Just keep at it.

Good luck! Keep writing.
Heidi Ayarbe

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