Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Growing Pains

(By the way, I suck at titles in case someone didn’t figure it out.)

I know I mentioned earlier I wasn’t going to talk about writing as much, but sometimes my thoughts on writing edge over to real life.

A friend and I were talking about writing skills and storytelling yesterday. The only way to improve writing is to keep on writing. If you want to submit one day, the old saying is to write a million words first. You’d be shocked how fast a million words add up. So you know…it sounds like a lot, but you can get there.

Staying in your comfy world of writing romance, SF, fantasy or essay, will get you your million words, and it might work for you to become a better writer. But if you’re writing a million words, what’ll it hurt if you spice things up. Dare to be crazy. Dare to write something out of your comfort zone.

I started writing again by jumping into a short story class. In the past my short stories looked more like an awkward scene. ONE long scene.

Laugh. It’s okay. I still can’t believe I actually submitted a couple of them.

I’ve also read a lot of romances. I add love stories to longer works. No, I’ll never write for Harlequin, but it’s fun to add romance to a fantasy. And it’s hard work that takes practice. Like learning to weave tension. Or writing hooks for your openings and closings—and all the paragraphs in between.

It’s hard to teach or explain to someone about writing for a new genre, technique—or how to write a soul for a character. Before someone can be published, they face these difficulties and learn to overcome them. Most times writers each have their own ways of dealing with them.

It’s very much like life. There are no clean cut instructions on dealing with death, a child with a drug addiction, or how to live with a debilitating disease that won’t kill you but will make wish for death. Or when a freak accident happens, and lands you in the hospital. Those rejections that you keep hearing, start taking a toll on your spirit. There are plenty of books on the subject on how to overcome. There will be people who try to help you. But in the end, each person faces these hurdles differently. Success and failure often comes to down our own mindset.

As we face each challenge we grow in spirit, strength and courage. No matter how horrible the next heartache or tragedy, we pick up and go on—learning to deal along the way.


  1. Hugs on the growing pains: but you're not alone. I think I passed my million this year, but I have a long way to go still!

  2. Whoever said we stopped growing in new ways lied. It's life. Hugs back. I'm pretty sure most of the folks I hang talk with a lot on FM are way over the million word mark.