Sunday, November 12, 2006

5 Things I've Learned About Writing

1. Positive attitudes are key. I want to surround myself with writers who are positive, not constantly talking about how hard writing is. Let's face it. Writing is hard work. For some it's harder than others. But if we can stay upbeat and encouraging to those around us (and not beat ourselves up, either), everything will go better. After all, we have the Author of the Universe on our side.

2. Writers write. Having a tough writing day? The writing blues got you down? The best cure is to write. Sounds simple, but it's often not. It's so easy to let "writerly" activities consume the time we need to putting words on paper.

3. Set goals. Whether they be word count or time goals, try to set them. I struggle with this one often, but I know I would be so much more productive if I obeyed it.

4. Never stop reading, or learning about the craft. Never let yourself think you've finally "arrived". You never will. And that's not a bad thing. It's what makes this writing life so rewarding. You can always write better.

5. Find the Joy. Remember why you first started writing. Was it because you love the written word? Because a story burned within you, and you had to let it out? Try to think about those times. They'll encourage you when things aren't going quite as you planned.

And for good measure, here's a 6th: Patience is key. The waits are often long and arduous in the writing biz. Come into it knowing that and you'll be just fine.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It' time for the FIRST Day Blog Tour!

This month's feature author is:

Just three weeks before her wedding, Emma Grace Falin has returned to her hometown of Coldwater, Texas, consumed by a single, burning desire. She must confront the guilt and shame of a devastating event that has haunted her since childhood.

Coldwater Revival


Coldwater, Texas

Three weeks before I was to marry Gavin O'Donnell, I set my feet upon the beaten path leading to Two-Toe Creek. What I had to offer Gavin in marriage—my whole heart, or just a part—depended on the
decision I would make today.

As my feet tracked the dusty pathway they stirred loose soil to the air. My heart stirred as well, for the guilt I had buried in its depths smoldered as though my brother had just died, and not five years earlier. In the shadowed days following the tragedy, my disgrace had glared like a packet of shiny new buttons. I'd not thought to hide it at the time. In truth, I'd thought of little, other than how to survive. But at some point during that time of sorrowful existence, when my days and nights strung together like endless telegraph wires, I dug a trench around my heart and buried my shame.

From that day until this, I deeded myself the actor's role, closing the curtain on my stain of bitter memories, hiding my sorrow behind a veil of pretense. But that old deceiver, Time, had neither softened my guilt nor put it to rest; only allowed it ample pause to fester like deadly gangrene. Now, as the day of my wedding drew near, my heart cried out for healing. It was, you see, far wiser than my head. My heart understood its need for restoration—before I exchanged wedding vows with Gavin. For this reason, I now walked the trail to Two-Toe Creek. To revisit my failures of yesteryear and reclaim the peace that had slipped past the portals of my childhood. Perhaps then I could give Gavin the entirety of my heart.