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NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Advice for Novice Writers




The Blog Hop question for this week is:
 "What Advice Would You Give to Beginning Writers"?''


I'm having an identity crisis!  I have been writing all my life; however, it was this past year I decided to pursue getting published.  So, am I seasoned or beginning?  For the sake of the Blog Hop, I'll assume the seasoned identity.  (How about "lightly seasoned"?)

Based on my experience this past year, the best advice I can give a beginning writer is this: Focus first on the genre you are comfortable with but don't be afraid to expand your horizons. I found that after being accepted for publication, I stayed with a specific genre. It was safe. Although I love writing devotionals and spreading the message of God, it got to the point where I was doing it out of habit absent the joy I experienced earlier. My heart was no longer in it.  

Recently I was asked to participate in a fiction series with several other authors.  I had never considered fiction before and was hesitant; however, I committed to the project. It was the best move I could have made.  Comfort causes complacency which is dangerous for a writer. The series took me out of my comfort zone. I was challenged and forced to stretch my imagination muscles.  Because of that my joy returned!  I'm up to date with the series and have some down time so I returned to my unfinished devotionals. When I pulled them up, it was sadly obvious my heart had not been there.  Taking a genre' break was just what I needed to refresh my mind and renew my spirit.  Instead of feeling dread at finishing up my works in progress, I feel like I'm reuniting with my best friend.  



20 comments:

  1. I like the idea of taking a "genre break." I write a bit of everything, which at times feels scattered, but I think you're right that writing in different genres forces us to push ourselves, learn new things, and benefits all our writing. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Patti, thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I usually have several things on the go at once and switch back and forth when I need a change of pace. I'm glad you're participating in the blog hop :)

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  3. Excellent, excellent advice! You must have that passion and fire to write. I too have several stories going across genres and just wait for that inspiration to strike on one or the other.

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  4. Love this idea Patti,
    Yes a change up is good for the soul. I seem to swing from painting, to writing, to reading and then back again. Never sure what God is going to do next. Thanks for dropping by my blog.
    blessings,
    Janis

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  5. That is great advice for me. I am stuck on devotions and writings about what I have been through and how Christ Brought me through me has shaped my what I believe today. I started writing in 2012 and have a blog at blogger.com. I also write for the weekly contests at faithwriters. I have wrote a couple of fiction pieces for the competitions and i thoroughly enjoyed writing them

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  6. Sometimes we need to be forced out of our comfort zones in order to grow. good post

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  7. Yes stretching is terrific advice! thans!! Brenda J Wood http://heartfeltdevotionals.com

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  8. "Comfort causes complacency" is so, so true! Unfortunately, as writers we tend to gravitate toward comfort, but you're right, that does not lend itself to good writing. Some really great advice!

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  9. I never thought of switching genres when happiness starts to slide. Very good advice.

    -RB

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  10. What a lovely expression, 'reuniting with my best friend' when you returned to your genre of choice. I have recently finished a teen novel, I love this genre that seems to vibrant. It's very different from writing creative non-fiction, as I did for She Does Not Fear the Snow. It was a refreshing experience. I get what you suggest about ringing the changes.

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  11. Sticking to a specific genre is a good tip. The same goes for freelance writing. The more you write about a particular subject, the better you get at it.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  12. I like your advice to try out other genres and so re-ignite writing passion. It's easy to get comfortable and lazy.

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  13. comfort causes complacency--so right! great advice :)

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  14. "Comfort causes complacency." I guess I must be a newbie still, because I am too uncertain of my skills to feel complacent yet. Maybe that's something to look forward to!

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  15. I'm not feeling complacent yet either, Kathleen! But this is such a good reminder not to let our writing get into a rut. If we're not reaching and stretching to improve, it'll show in our writing.

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  16. Forgot to add, Patti -- love that picture of Lucy giving writing advice.

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  17. Love your phrase4 "lightly seasoned'! I could definitely use that - I've returned to writing now that I have retired. Trying new genres has helped as well. Great advice!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Beverley! Congrats on the retirement!

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