What I'm reading: Jewels of the Sun, by Nora Roberts; contest entries.
Sometimes things just come together. This link, discovered during my morning blog-hopping is a delightful look at the Twitter version of the Passover Haggadah (the 'book' that is read during the ceremony.
I'm reading manuscripts submitted by unpublished writers for my RWA chapter's annual contest. Judging is tough, because a contest means there are winners. So, we take the subjective and try to quantify it so we can put a score on the pages. I remember when I entered these types of contests, and reading the judge's feedback was more important than the actual numbers in a category (although I definitely liked the ones where I got high scores).
And, another benefit of judging and having to analyze someone else's writing helps sharpen my own writing.
As I read, I remind myself that these are all aspiring authors, filled with hope that someone will love their baby. So, for everyone who writes, or wants to write, today's post is sharing thoughts on writing, taken from my quotes of the day collection.
The imagination conjures gifts; what the ungrateful, unsentimental part of the mind has to do is unwrap them--see them for what they are and then alter them.
This is not joy. This is not pleasure. Writing is work, and the most difficult work is inhabiting someone who is not you.
Writer’s Digest, May 2003
Of course, if writing is your career, you should treat it as such. Write every day, submit your stories on time, treat your editors professionally, know the needs of the market, ask to be paid well for your work. But don't forget to have fun.
Because that's why you chose this.
The point is to do it, to practice. Nothing ever comes out just perfect the first time, unless you are supremely lucky--the rest of us have to work at it, to rehearse a few times before we take the stage with a top-notch performance.
Create an Artist’s Sketchbook
The soul of writing is that inspiring vision that leads the writer deeper into her mystery and artistic vision. This must always be tempered with the bones of writing which are the unglamorous but absolutely necessary nuts and bolts of the craft.
Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with the first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.
~Richard North Patterson
Writing is my trade and my joy and my despair, depending on how well or how poorly it seems to be going at any given moment. I cannot imagine ever doing anything else.
Tomorrow, Homicide – Hussey is back, and Linda Swift will be choosing the winner of her contest. There's still time to enter: scroll to Tuesday's post and leave a comment. And be sure to check back to see if you're the winner.