Once you are far enough into writing a novel and really committed to the story, the next big leap into the writing world is to open yourself up to readers for feedback. I’ve had many of my short pieces critiqued in writing classes and benefited from the nurturing and enlightening environment. But, I have been unabashedly insecure to let anyone read the novel I’ve been working on for the last three years. My reluctance to put my writing of “Lupita’s story ” on a viewing cutting block, where I know it needs to go to make it better, is as illusional as ~ if I don’t think about it, it won’t happen.”
An author I admire for all she gives to the writing community is Jody Hedlund. In a recent blog post The Unnecessary Shame Writers Feel When Getting Feedback she wrote “No matter our skill level, no matter how many years we’ve been writing, no matter how many books we have under our belts, all writers need help with editing and usually lots of it”
Hedlund’s words couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Learning what my job as a story teller is and having validation that it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time out, has me (almost) ready to submit pages of my Work-In-Progress. *WIP*
by Christine Wenzel @Chris_Wenzel
While temporarily back in Canada we are renting a third floor condo, overlooking a lawn bowling field. I have a full view of the players from the window where I sit and write. It’s not one of those games that captures your attention with action and boisterous shouts of encouragement. Even on tournament days when the field is awash with regal white figures there are no spectators thronged on the sidelines cheering for their team or loved ones.
Writing alone, devoid of onlookers and with plenty of opportunity to observe (get distracted) by the muted action below I found myself forming feelings of affinity with the players. My appreciation for lawn bowling’s slow motion complexities increased. I started to see a strong connection between it and my writing life. Maybe you will too.
You don’t just decide to take up lawn bowling after years of inactivity.
Many of the players I see are silver-haired and fit. They move like people who have made a habit of performing activities to sustain agility.
Writers cultivate life-long habits to go the distance. We’ve all heard it; write something every day; create a routine; keep the word flow going.
Lawn bowlers wouldn’t have the needed flexibility to roll that little ball and writers would not write (well) without making a conscious effort to avoid stagnation.
Bowls are designed to travel a curved path. They’ll go in a straight line for some distance then take a turn to the right or left.
Lawn bowlers learn the ‘proper form’ to send the bowl up the green. They control the way it will turn.
A writer understands a storyline can change directions many times but develops skills to keep a forward momentum towards the words: The End
Some more connections between the two:
- can be enjoyed at all ages
- a strong tendency for stereotyping
- quietly competitive
- the more you do it the more consistent you become, it’s important to stick with it.
- learning the finer points will keep you hooked while you strive for mastery