The first thing that really resonated with me isn't even on her list, but it's a quote I love. "You're good no one unless you're good to yourself." Since I heard that I've made an effort to be easier on myself when I miss a blogpost or get behind on something trying to live life.
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
She suggested taking an inventory of what you're good at and what you're not, and maybe soliciting your CP's help with this. I loved this, because I solicited my cp's help and it turns out I'm good at more things than I knew. However, the things I'm bad at I'm REALLY bad at. Mary Jo suggested that you pick one thing to improve on as you right your next WIP. Write it on a note card and tape it to your computer or keep it on your desk, so you can focus on that one thing, improve that one thing.
Mary Jo actually made these two separate points, but I feel comfortable combining them here, because I think you deal with them essentially the same way. She said if you don't know where to start your book, start with the very next thing that happens. That's usually the right place to start anyhow. For getting stuck she recommends leaving it but not forgetting it.
A year ago, I was so stuck that I was essentially writing two different books at once just to see where the plot was going to go. Another published writer told me each day they wrote only what they were interested in. I tried this. It worked. At this point, it's pretty much how I roll. But I think this is essentially what she's saying. You don't know where the book starts? So what. Move on and write the parts you can. You got stuck? So what. Move on and write what you can.
Writing is hard work.
Enough said. And editing is even harder work. I think we all need to remember this sometimes.
Trust your talent and skill, but look at others to see what they do and how they do it.
You might find a tool to make something easier for yourself, or help you improve on an area of craft you're weak at.
BE COMFORTABLE WITH REJECTION.
I haven't mastered this one yet. Rejection hurts, especially when you've worked so hard on something. I guess the main point here is you have to know it's something we all suffer through and isn't any reflection on you or your ability.
Writing is a process:
- come up w/ idea
- think about story, characters, etc.
- write rough draft
- revise and it again, and again, and again
There is no such thing. You haven't thought about it enough. You don't know the characters well enough, or you haven't slept on it enough.
COMPETE WITH YOURSELF--NOT OTHERS.
This is one I really need to remember.
Volunteer--It's the best way to network.
"I started getting really serious about my writing in 1986 and got published for the first time in 2009." Wow. I think that was the most impressive thing I heard all day. It gave me inspiration, and I thought anyone who can play this game that long deserves to be published.
Pulling It All Together
- Don't let your self be idle for too long. Keep writing.
- Trust your talent and instincts.
- Change up these tips to best fit you and your writing style.