Sunday, 8 January 2017

Creative Writing: Let Anything Work Until You Know What REALLY Works

Don't just wait for the right opportunity.  Let anything work!
Photo Copyright Janet Cameron
Some writers prefer to stick to a narrow remit. For example, to write fiction or non-fiction, or maybe just crime or just romance or literary fiction. The trouble is that if it doesn't work out immediately, it’s demoralising.
Instead allow anything to work for you. Be open to possibilities. Give yourself extra opportunities to find a niche in the market and to actually get started. You can choose to specialise later, when you know what works for you.
Once you have some successes under your belt, it's easier to move on with confidence to what you really want to do.
Widen your Possibilities – Create Options
Do some preliminary groundwork. Maybe start with the letter-pages of newspapers or by writing for community, trade or church publications. When you find a publishing outlet that is prepared to give you a chance, take that opportunity, however insignificant it might seem at the time.
It’s so true in life that one thing leads to another, sometimes in unexpected ways. (One day, you may have the chance to help other gifted writers to find their niche too.)
You can learn about structuring a story by becoming successful in any genre. Nor does this limit you. Light romance writers often move on to historical writing. Historical writing can slip into literary writing, or maybe crime and other popular fiction genres. Some writers invest their time in both light and literary writing, and use different pseudonyms for each. (People associate known authors with a certain kind of book and can feel cheated if it’s not what they expected.)
I once knew a builder who drove around in a battered van bearing the slogan "No Job Too Small." Now he has a fleet of lorries!
A Realistic, Practical Attitude to your Writing
1. A sense of distance helps. It will enable you to see the ‘bigger picture’ when things go wrong. If someone criticises your writing and if you feel they are being fair, then learn from their comments. If you feel their criticism is unfair, remember it’s your writing they are targeting—not you personally. If you’re still not sure, get a second opinion..
2. Being misquoted is painful, but probably quickly forgotten by everyone except you. Don’t let them win by letting it get to you. It happens to celebrities, royals and politicians who are always being quoted wrongly, or even out-of-context which can be equally misleading. It’s a natural consequence of becoming known in your field.
3. Lastly, as important as your writing is to you, never allow it to be the single controlling ambition of your life. By this, I mean, never allow your writing to define you as a person. Your writing is an important part of you, but it isn’t you. Remain in control of your writing rather than the other way around and stay happy.

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