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View Diary: A Blue-Collar Girl in a White-Collar World (105 comments)

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  •  This is great! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    reconnected, leftyparent, Dumbo

    Thank you for the detailed breakdown of your process. Music is actually a tertiary pursuit of mine; I spent several years taking piano lessons, as well as guitar lessons for awhile. I was also a painter for many years (art is a secondary pursuit). While I've had to give up piano for the time being, I still play guitar on my own, just for fun. Music brings me a lot of joy, and I like to listen to a wide variety of it.

    As to your process, it sounds a lot like how I go about novel writing. I've been trying to write this book, in some form, for the last 5 years. It's been a long process of trial and error, which has included some semi-formal schooling via UCLA's Extension, but even that was very hands on, focused on helping me through the trial and error process (although I was also exposed to some great literature, which was nice). Another big part of it was having an audience to give me constructive feedback on my work, which included the writing group I got out of it. We met weekly for over 2 years, and they've seen just about every iteration of my book that there is.

    It's only now that I'm finally coming to a place where I feel like I'm getting to a professional caliber of work. But I still encounter hurdles that are tough and set me back. It's such a process and no one can really teach me how to do it, just impart their own experiences and skills. It's up to me to apply those where necessary, as well as to learn how to accept feedback.

    I actually spoke at length about this in the comments section of my previous blog, but I did my best to school myself in what I considered to be the classics of science fiction, since that is the genre I intend to write in. It helps that my dad read or encouraged me to read a lot of great sci-fi growing up. And nowadays, since my focus is on YA genre fiction, I read a ton of it, to critically access what I feel works and doesn't work and to understand what's selling and why. Nobody instructed me to do this -- it's just what my gut told me to do.

    •  One practical piece of advice... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftyparent

      Don't get too bogged down in "learning the craft" as so many people do.  That's what I did.  I hosted a number of writing workshops.  I was never a successful writer, just a dilletante, which describes almost everything I've ever done.  I'm more enthusiastic than ambitious about the things that fascinate me, and writing turned out to be similar in that respect.

      But craft...  There are writing craft ADDICTS.  They can suck you into their orbit.  I wish I had resisted that urge.  Buying books on writing, the workshops, the mailing lists, begging for critiques, etc.

      One funny thing I found on the pro mailing lists is that they never, never, never talked about craft.

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