We All Need a Little Paradise

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in General Chaos | 0 comments

IMG_20131021_153827I just got back from a week-long writer’s workshop called Viable Paradise. The workshop specializes in Speculative Fiction, but much of what’s covered could apply to any sort of writing. Even a few days later, I’m not sure I can relate how much I learned and what a thoroughly intense experience it was. I spent five days completely immersed in writing. From the moment I woke up until I went to sleep there was nothing else in my head. It was beautiful, and exhausting.

Meeting some giants in the field and two dozen other writers at a similar place in their careers was amazing. Beyond the lectures and critique groups, the conversations I took part in will shape my writing for years to come. My classmates were an eclectic group. I find it intensely interesting that the group was so thoroughly random with writing  from wacky to serious and everywhere in between. Some writing was focused and intricate, and others were in a more storytelling, carefree style. I was in awe of everything I read while I was there, so much so that I kept thinking I must be the loser of the bunch. However, after my crit group and my one-on-ones with two instructors, I realized that I belonged there just as much as anyone and that was pretty damned magnificent. I have never felt more sure of and more confident in my choice to become a writer. I am humbled and I am happy.

I learned so much about how to write, and how to make a career out of writing that I thought I’d share a few of the most choice tidbits here:

  1. Write new words every day. Set aside two hours (the same ones every day) to write new words only. No revising, no editing, just brand new writing.
  2. Don’t reject yourself. Let the markets you’re submitting to reject you. Don’t tell yourself that your story isn’t good enough for them, that’s their job! Follow submission guidelines, obviously, but beyond that always submit to the best markets.
  3. Don’t practice Rejectomancy. Don’t read into your rejections. A form rejection tells you nothing about your story except that it didn’t work for that particular market at that time.
  4. Don’t agonize over rewrites. Write something new instead.
  5. Your writing is the best advertisement for your writing. Getting stories out to a variety of markets is the best way to get readers interested in your stories.

I’m going to do another post later in the week about the incredible instructors and how impressed I was with them, but for now I need to catch up on some sleep.

Hearts and puppies,


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