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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Writing Tips 5

The Process

Make sure you are enjoying the process. Writing is a good deal about focus and and sacrifice. In fact in the early part of one's career, it's a great deal about sacrifice. You sit down to write a book or story that not one person has asked you to write. You might feel a little foolish at times as you're sitting at the kitchen table at 2am on a Saturday night banging those computer keys while the rest of the world is out partying. It takes a great deal in believing in self to take on that first book.

Focus is the next hurdle to climb. The late Steve Jobs had an almost maniacal obsession about details of product design. Your book is your product. Your words are your design. Focus on each word in your product.

Some Helpful Tips

1. Focus -- Find that quiet space to work and only do work. Don't surf the net. I personally like to have the net up to allow me to do some quick fact checking on google. But if you're not disciplined, turn your connection to the net off. Put a mark next to the thing you need to check and do it AFTER you've done your writing.

2.  Sacrifice -- "What should I do this weekend?" "I know! Go to your local library and write!" Sounds like fun doesn't it? But it may be the thing you have to do to get away temporarily from the demands of family. Nope you cannot help find socks or comb hair or run Johnny to soccer practice right now. So it has to be your "Fun." Writing isn't a job. It's a way of life. If it ever becomes a chore, stop!
Of course don't sacrifice health and family to the point the kids are starving and becoming juvenile delinquents. But carve out every bit of time that you can to write and remain healthy and connected to family.

3.  Attention to Details -- You words are your design details. You have to be interested in the details, or else why write? Plots are great. But the details of spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and tone are equally important. It's all about you.

4.  Have Good Tools Handy -- Keep an online dictionary/thesaurus  bookmarked in your favorites folder or toolbar. Have a handy online Grammar guide available also. And by all means run your work through some kind of editing process. If you think a human is too expensive, try the many online editing tools out there. Make a small investment. You don't have to obey an Editor or editing software as if it's gospel. But if they suggest a change, consider it.

5.  Stay Involved -- Do as much of the work as you can yourself. Some people might want to farm out the formatting of their manuscripts. In my opinion formatting is a part of editing. You can catch a lot of things as you're going over and over your document as you get it in shape for publication.

Please feel free to comment and add to the conversation.

Harvey's Amazon Author Page
Harvey on Smashwords

These are not endorsements. Just tips and suggestions
Dictionary/Thesaurus Link
Grammar Link

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