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Saturday, February 2, 2013

What's Right for the Individual Writer - Holly Barbo

On this Writers's Blog, author Holly Barbo gives us writers some sound advice. Kindly offer your comments on your inner writing beast below.
How much writing must a writer write if a writer would write right?

I have often heard that we must bang out something every day if we are serious in becoming a writer. Just set aside some time and do it. There is something to be said for that. Often if we work at something frequently we get better at it. The problem that I have with the statement is two fold. It isn’t always practical or possible to write everyday or for uninterrupted blocks of time. 

Very few writers can make a living from writing. They must have a day job that provides them with the means to bring home the bacon and keep the roof over their head. That means that it is highly probable that there will be days.. perhaps weeks or...~cringe~.. months where they simply can not write. It ..is ..reality. 

I wrote four books in ten months but when my mom died I didn’t write for about a year. There are things that just shut off the productive inspiration that we need to write. That said.. one must factor in the Muse. Those creative stirrings will only allow themselves to be suppressed just sooo long before they start insisting that you pay attention. They will wake you up at night or interrupt your meal. They will be heard and you will comply! 

Then there is the uninterrupted-block-of-time philosophy. It goes like this: “A disciplined writer will set a block of time to write everyday and nothing will disturb the regimen.” I admire a structured life. There are people who are wonderful at it and it works for them but it doesn’t work for me as there is too much going on at all times that demands my attention. 

I started writing while I was working in our store. I got everything done first before I would start to write. I would sit down at the computer and soon things would be chugging along. The story was moving, the words were hopping off my fingertips ...and a customer would walk in. I would smile and as I rose from my desk I would hit “save”. When the store became quiet I would be back at the computer picking up the flow as if I had never stopped. It was a system that worked most of the time. I did have the tendency to repeat myself and struggled to edit that out later. It wasn’t ideal but it was how those writing moments occurred. I averaged a chapter a day and the muse smiled. At least I was letting her out. That is all that mattered.

So listen to those teachers and professionals.. then give it your best. Write when you can squeeze out moments. Learn from your mistakes. Polish your efforts and grow as a writer. Find your rhythm and do what is right for you. ..I’m looking forward to reading your book.  :D


Holly Barbo. Author of The Sage Seed Chronicles: The Founders, Divergent Paths, The Unraveling. Two more to be released this year: Reweaving and The Lost. Currently working on Sunstone.
Twitter: @HBarboWriting

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