Happy International Women’s Day! A day to celebrate the inspiring achievements of all women across the globe. “What is better than wisdom? Woman. And what is better than a good woman? Nothing.”
Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration in the articles which feature in today’s post. This week: investing in your writing career, the influences of women, writing too much, and vital elements of a story. Thank you, writers, for the wonderfully helpful content!
Do you need to spend money on your writing? by Jodi Gibson
One of the best things about writing is it’s accessibility. You don’t need bucket loads of cash to buy a pen and a piece of paper.
In her insightful article, Jodi Gibson puts this question to writers serious about their craft: “do you need to spend money on your writing career?’
“Investing money on my writing skills and knowledge is one of the best things I’ve done for my writing. Not only has it helped me grow and develop my skill set, but it has also enabled me to make valuable connections with like-minded people in the industry…”
Jodi examines the different stages of a writer’s career, looking at what kind of expenses may be required. First she looks at ‘starting out’, and recommends investing in learning the craft. I couldn’t agree more. Buy as many books as you can, go on courses, to workshops, even enrol in a degree if you’re really serious. There’s quite a lot of free options out there. It just takes a bit of tedious Googling. And spend what you can afford. I regularly scroll through Amazon hunting down books I can buy for pennies (they always get you on shipping, though. Bastards).
As you progress, Jodi suggests spending cash on the likes of writing competitions and investing in your platform. For those at the business end of the game, investing in editors, manuscript assessments, and all important marketing are essential but pricey. The article wraps up with a treasure trove of resources to help you further.
Nasty Women 101 by Lauren Evie
With IWD in full swing it wouldn’t be right not to include a topical article, and this one by Lauren Evie I enjoyed tremendously. She shares what she’s learned from the strong female influences she’s had in her life. The article is full of excellent quotes to motivate and inspire. Here are some of my favourites:
“It’s important to keep fighting, not only for yourself, but those in different situations to you who need the voices of allies.”
“Your thoughts and opinions are just as valid as those around you. Keep shouting.”
“Learning to love yourself first makes everything else come a little easier.”
“Women are taught that they should be nice, kind, sweet, adorable. Voiceless. Opinionless. Don’t let that be you.”
“Please, for the love of god, someone bring Piers [Morgan] down.” (I wish the very same thing each and every day.)
Terrific post. Check it out!
From 2000 to 300—Why You’re Writing Too Much by Steven James for Writer Unboxed
I’m sure you’ve heard writers say they aim to write so many words a day. Stephen King says he writes 2,000. I’m sure many of you are familiar with NaNoWriMo, a month spent battering your keyboard in a bid to thrash out a novel. The aim behind these advices is to promote productivity. But is it always the best approach?
Steven James discusses an alternative method. Have you ever had one of those days where you amass a heap of words, only for the next day to find yourself struggling to type a mere handful? I have, and so too has Steven James. It was why he ditched word count targets.
“The whole paradigm strikes me as an odd way to go about producing works of art … Think of asking a songwriter ‘How many notes do you write in a day?’
Instead, Steven suggests three alternative methods of achieving productivity: setting yourself time limits instead of word counts, focusing on progress, and writing smarter, not faster.
“Strive for quality, not quantity. Rather than tracking word count, make sure every word counts and create work you can be proud of and that will entertain and impact readers for years to come.”
Another insightful article well worth checking out.
A Guide to Critiquing a Story: Seven Vital Elements Every Story Must Have by David Farland for Writers of the Future
David Farland has been judging stories for contests for over 20 years, so he knows a fair bit about the elements vital to a story. He’s created a ‘critique form’, setting out what he believes are the seven key elements a story ought to have. You’ll find the big hitters in there, like characterisation, setting, plot, and emotional payoff.
David goes on to discuss how to weight these different categories. Some genres favour one more than others and vice versa. It’s all about knowing your target audience and what they want.
A very insightful read!
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