Monday, 15 October 2012

70 Solutions - Day 1

I am a new writer. Brand new. I've started what feels like millions of writing projects in my life, but thus far, only one has been completed and submitted to a publisher. I feel pretty lucky that my first attempt was accepted, but I am not naive enough to think that I am a perfect writer. I have a long way to go, and a lot to learn. I am also lucky that I will have such great writers to learn from and bug with incessant questions.

Anyways, in an effort not to annoy the hell out my my fellow writers, I have picked up a couple of writing books to read. The first one is 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer. He's sold more than 40 million copies of the more than 50 books he's written, so I figure he's probably got a good idea of what to do/not to do.

If you're interested, you can see the book here:

I thought about tackling one per day, but the idea of it taking more than two months to get through the thing was not all that appealing to me. I am far too impatient for that. Instead, let's try five per day and see how it goes (although I am famous for starting out a project all hung-ho and losing steam halfway through (just ask my sister)).

1. Not Starting. Okay, simple enough, and done! Go me. Do you ever make lists and include things you've already done, just so you have something to cross off and you can feel productive. I totally do that. This is a little like that for me. Perfect. I've started. To quote Mr. Mayer, I've "opened a vein and started bleeding on the page".

2. Not Finishing. Well, I've finished my first one, but historically this is a problem for me. I have a whole folder of half-written work. This is definitely something I need to work on. I'll start immediately...or in a minute...

3. Misusing Writer's Groups. I've never actually used a writer's group, but after I signed my contract with DSP, I was able to join their online forums, which has been amazing. I am totally starstruck by the names of the people posting in those threads. Amazing, and I've already made use of their knowledge and expertise. It's been quite valuable to far.

4. Forgetting the Reader. I may or may not be guilty of this. I'm not really sure. I seem to forget a lot when I'm writing. Things like eating, or sleeping. I started writing for me, and submitted my writing because I thought other people might like what I like. So in a way I write for us both.

5. Thinking You're the Exception to the Rule. Mr. Mayer explains that following the rules is important, especially for writers who are just starting out. I believe it. I will follow them gladly. Writing is so subjective that it is nice to have some guidelines to follow.

Alright, so the first five are done, and I think it's so far so good.

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