Monday, June 24, 2013

Back-to-Business: TSoLG Winners & Teaching About Writing

Congratulations to the winners of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO cover reveal giveaway! All of the following winners were contacted via email yesterday.

The signed hardcover of AUDITION was won by Vivien
The signed arc of TSoLG was won by Kaitlin

The swag from Elana Johnson, Carrie Harris, Jessi Kirby & Gretchen McNeil was won by Mimi
And, since we had over 2,000 entries, I added 2 extra prize packs (hot-off-the-presses Sound of Letting Go swag ) which were won by Kristia & Debby

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of teaching a workshop to some wonderfully talented teen and adult YA writers. The workshop was called NOVEL SUMMER and we discussed strategies for producing a first-draft manuscript by August 30. Here are some of the "rules" we came up with to avoid self-defeating thoughts and behaviors en route to the finish line!
  1. Don't read yesterday's work.
  2. If you get stuck, allow yourself to "switch brains" by doing research or something else manuscript-related for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Don't fear making choices. If you are uncertain about a setting, a character name, or a plot twist, allow yourself to make a decision (choose a city in which to set the story, for example) and remind yourself you can always change these choices in your next draft.
  4. Learn your writing idiosyncrasies. Do a ten-minute timed write. Note where you pause, put down your pencil. Is it at the six-minute mark? At the nine? Push yourself a couple minutes past the stall. Force yourself to write two more sentences. See if you can stretch that writing muscle. When you master ten, try twelve minutes. And so on.
  5. Incentivize your writing. Look deep in your heart for a reward you can give yourself for a good day, a good week, or a good summer of writing. It doesn't have to be expensive or even tangible. Perhaps you will just allow yourself to have a messy house and not apologize for it. Perhaps you will reconnect with an old friend. If you can afford it, a massage or nice meal isn't bad either!
  6. Don't wait for "inspiration to strike." Acknowledge that bad writing days are still better than non-writing days and just because you don't feel creative all the time doesn't mean you have no future as a writer.

No comments: