Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Qualities of a Seasoned Writer

Hello once again Monkeys! DJ Bec-a-peck here, bringing you straight up beats! (I've still riding the vibe from my Intro to Radio and TV.)

Story Time: There is a woman I know, who shall remain nameless, who is the most energetic and dually the most obnoxious person I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. Ever since I finished my first novel she has been saying things along the lines of "Now your almost as smart as me" and  "Now write 100 more and you'll be me." (Side note-she's never written a book in her life.) And just to get under my skin, while I was querying agents and getting rejected, she would brag about the supposed "agent" she had.


Excuse me for a moment.

Grabs pillow, stuffs face into it.


'K. All good now.

Recently she extended an olive branch and proposed a truce so that I might help her with her first NaNoWriMo and subsequently her first book. While I've been more then generous and understanding, there are some things she's said that I worry about.

       "I barely ever read. I hate reading."

       "My game plan: finish book, send to editor, get published."

       "I've written five books, in my head. I just need to get them down on paper."

Can you spot what's wrong with this picture?

As a service to my poor, naive friend, I've dedicated this blog to what a writer looks like when he/she knows what he/she's doing.

A Writer Reads Constantly
There is no exception to this rule. No read=no write. Writers are made out of a true love for books, you can't write properly without it. How are you supposed to know what makes a decent book if you've never cracked one open? Do not take this lightly. Read. Read until you start hearing the voices, then read some more. And then maybe write. Maybe.

A Writer Writes Constantly
Equally as important, but with some exceptions. Writing is like exercising a muscle, leave it be and it turns to flab. And really, it's more then just writing constantly. It's wanting to write constantly. Are you happy? Write. Just land a top dollar promotion at work? Write. Feel like you could punch your hand through a dry wall? Write. Sick of writing? Write write write. (Get it, right? Awesome, write about it.)

A Writer Is Patient
Writing a book, it takes a while. Doesn't happen over night. And guess what? After you finish, it takes a while to get published. A long while. Like I'm-not-even-sure-I-entered-the-tunnel-yet-so-how-the-heck-am-I-suppose-to-see-a-light long. And no matter what stage your in, no matter how far away from the finish you are, no matter how great or terrible you feel about yourself, it will always seem impossible. Which leads me to my next point.

A Writer Is A Dreamer
Let's face it, no one really expects to ever be published. Especially if they know even a minuscule bit of the publishing industry right now. No one can actually imagine the gratifying taste of finishing a book until they have, or having it propped up on a shelf until it's there. You've got to stupidly hopelessly fall in love with  your book, you've got to never get to comfortable, and you've got to want it. Badly. Really badly. You've got to sacrifice society and sanity to be able to go all the way. And in order to let that go, you've got to be a dreamer.

And, lastly,

A Writer Is Willing to Sacrifice

Do you have friends? Family? Arch Enemies bent on destroying you down to the very core? Well, say good bye to them. Along with your free time, your money, your love life, and, above all, the hope of seeing sunlight or ever tasting fresh air again. You have no time for such trivial things anymore, you are an author. You live your book. You breathe your book. You love your book. You hate your book. You tuck it in at night with a bed time story and in the morning you tell it to go screw itself. And the cycle goes on and on until one day you wake up and realize you are your book. And when the foam starts frothing in the corners of your mouth your loved ones will take you to the happy farm with the men in white coats and while your sitting in the pleasant padded room you'll think to yourself I might have gone a bit overboard. And that, Monkeys, is when you can officially refer to yourself as a writer.

Well, that's all I've got for writers in general, whether they be professional aspiring or otherwise. Other little tips include being sure to remember to feed yourself (seriously, set an alarm on your phone or something. Time flies when your delusional) and that when you develop an addiction to something (and trust me when I say you will), please be sure it's something healthy like coffee or chocolate.

~*Real Quick*~

I'm on the downward slope for the third book in the Order of Vemberia series, and am really exicted, so here's a little teaser. 

Shana: It is my understanding that after you and Zane are finished with your business in earth, you will no longer be companions. What will you do then?

Scrapper: Find another planet, one without people, and live there.

Also, I have a new short story posted on my website. Ode to Running the Mile. (At the bottom of the page.)


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