Have you ever made a mistake in your writing?
There isn’t a writer in the world who doesn’t make mistakes occasionally.
What separates professional writers from amateurs is how they handle mistakes.
Some writers see mistakes as disasters.
But if you know the right way to handle them, making mistakes may actually be good for you!
The more mistakes you make as a writer,
Writing is a lonely process.
It takes a lot of courage to sit down and write day after day, week after week, month after month.
The struggle can continue for years, while self-doubt, criticism and fear bully you like a gang of thugs.
As if that’s not torture enough, you may want to move beyond writing for yourself, and pursue publication.
Then, the real challenges begin: losing writing contests,
You want to become the kind of writer who has the energy to turn up every day in front of the blank page and create.
You’re looking for a way to focus on your current writing project without getting distracted.
And you’d like to finish what you’re working on.
If only there were something that would help you do all this…
Would you like to know how to write a short story that wins a prize?
Of course you would!
You’ve drafted your story, and it looks good.
But now you want to fine-tune it to win a contest.
How do you improve your chances?
Let me tell you a secret.
I’ve judged more than 5000 entries in short fiction awards over five years.
You and I know something about writing.
We know about the joy of writing.
And we know about the struggle.
We know about the times when writing is difficult, and the times when writing flows without effort.
But we take our experience for granted.
Until someone asks us for advice.
Here’s a scenario:
Imagine a friend drops in for a visit.
What are you working on right now?
A novel? Your best article ever? A poem? A film script?
Maybe you’ve just finished something you’re really proud of? Or you just can’t tell whether it should get a Pulitzer or be thrown into the trash?
Here’s your chance to share and discuss with each other what you are writing about.
Whet our appetite with the opening paragraph of your future bestseller or give us a link to your best article.
Have you ever lost your motivation to write?
You have a deadline staring you in the face, and no words to reach it.
Feels awful, doesn’t it?
People love talking about motivation.
The truth is, there’s some great content out there about getting motivated.
But asking “How do I motivate myself?” misses a critical point:
What do you do when you’re motivated?
Do you want to know how to become a writer?
Here is a fun view of the writer’s journey.
First, there is the fear…
You slowly start to get traction.
But where are the readers?
You start to make friends online.
You meet amazing people.
Does fear sometimes stop you from writing?
You see, the problem is that writers need to improvise.
And that can be terrifying.
Because there is no map that can help us get our idea or story onto the page.
Here’s how Charles Baxter described the process:
Sitting in the dark of Gregory’s room, with a cigar in his hand and Glenn Miller playing “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”
Recently, I re-read a little book I created some years ago.
It’s a book of poems.
I collected my poems and then ‘published’ them in a book I handcrafted myself.
It made a special gift for my loved ones.
I’m not what people call ‘a poet,’ but I do tend to write poems now and then. Especially at key moments of my life.
The poems I created some years ago trigger memories,