Things I wish I'd been told when I started

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Sommer Leigh
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by Sommer Leigh » September 26th, 2010, 5:12 pm

After I made my post I was thinking maybe we need a thread somewhere to show off some of our non-writing artistic talents? It looks like there are plenty here to show off!
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Holly
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by Holly » September 26th, 2010, 5:28 pm

Great list, Sommer. I especially like "If you want to be a writer, you must write." Exploring the world around you is another good one.

Things I wish I'd been told when I started? That a one-page synopsis bares the whole novel. You can instantly see if you have a meandering plot or a real story. It really is better to outline, too. And short fiction credits are not impossible at all -- there are a million small presses. Short fiction builds up your self-confidence and makes a nice break from novel hell.

I'm glad I didn't know how many rewrites I would do, though.

Sommer Leigh
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by Sommer Leigh » September 26th, 2010, 6:00 pm

Holly wrote:
I'm glad I didn't know how many rewrites I would do, though.
Amen to that.
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by Claudie » September 26th, 2010, 6:39 pm

Well, this isn't when I started exactly, but it is something I wish I'd been told:

1-You have talent.

I'm still young, but looking back, I can't believe how many years I lost. It's not hard to get me enthusiastic about something. If, as a teenager, I had been told by anyone - a parent, a teacher, a friend - "you know, you've got great stories", I would have considered this life earlier. Three words, a prompt in the right direction, is all I needed. I wish I'd had them sooner.

The second is:

2 - Research the industry.

Why? Because you incredible people are telling me all the other things, and even though I'm years away from my first query, I learn every day thanks to blogs and forums around the internet.
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

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polymath
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by polymath » September 26th, 2010, 6:54 pm

Holly wrote: Polymath, gorgeous descriptions. I can see and smell the beach and practically touch that pottery.

I paint in oil and watercolor, draw with ink and pastels, and wish I could learn to throw pottery on a wheel, but that novel keeps getting in the way.
Thanks, Holly. I love the wilderness beaches hereabouts. I rigorously stay away from the resort beaches. And I love throwing pottery but my hands can't take it for long. Lathe working either. I don't own a pottery wheel, though I could make one if I wanted to. I like working in slab and pressed pots and slip casting from homemade molds. The local community college has a continuing education pottery class they permit students to take up to eight times, which provides access to wheels and kilns and such, once per class a raku firing session. Clay and such are available at a nearby art store.
Sommer Leigh wrote:After I made my post I was thinking maybe we need a thread somewhere to show off some of our non-writing artistic talents? It looks like there are plenty here to show off!
I magnanimously second the motion. A forum for picture posting would be nice, pictures of artwork, pictures art themselves, cover illustrations for response commentary too. If the servers can handle large and numerous file size loads.
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by Ermo » September 27th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Hey Claudie -

In response to your number 1, I never pass on an opportunity to let another writer know that I like their work. We all know how hard it can be to create something and if you read something that connects, I think it's our responsibility in the community to let each other know.

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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by Louise Curtis » September 27th, 2010, 6:48 pm

Oh, and I forgot!

#9: There is a disproportionate number of mentally ill in the creative community. (Whether the crazy causes the writing or the writing the crazy is yet to be firmly determined.)

9b is: meet other writers. We make asylums fun.
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by Margo » September 27th, 2010, 10:14 pm

Louise Curtis wrote:#9: There is a disproportionate number of mentally ill in the creative community. (Whether the crazy causes the writing or the writing the crazy is yet to be firmly determined.)
Oh boy. I hate to agree with that, but personal experience has been proof positive for me. More seriously, Kay Jamison Redfield did a wonderful book called Touched By Fire that looked at the connection between creativity and disorders on what was once called the manic-depressive spectrum. These are apparently most common among poets and least common among architects, with writers falling somewhere in-between (can't recall where).

I know a few more categories of 'disproportionate' that writers fall into, courtesy of a tipsy conversation with some industry pros, but I don't want to offend anyone (that I already haven't).
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by unprintableme » September 27th, 2010, 11:12 pm

Sorry that this is off-subject but I really feel the need to compliment Polymath on the bowl. It is beautiful and must have been a geometric nightmare to block out. But with the name of Polymath, maybe not. ;)

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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by Quill » September 27th, 2010, 11:56 pm

How about things I'm glad I wasn't told when I started, like how darned hard it is to get good, like how much one needs to give up in order to make the time, and like how much about the publishing business in general it's best to learn, to help one be able to participate in it intelligently.

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polymath
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by polymath » September 28th, 2010, 1:08 am

unprintableme wrote:Sorry that this is off-subject but I really feel the need to compliment Polymath on the bowl. It is beautiful and must have been a geometric nightmare to block out. But with the name of Polymath, maybe not. ;)
Thank you, unprintableme. It's not as much of a geometric nightmare as it looks, not with old-timer's carpenter's math and nudge factoring to cover a multitude of replication errors. Part of the artistic appeal is the seeming complexity of the form. But, yes, I see my lathewares in four dimensions before I begin cutting out a new project's many pieces. Computer Aided Design software helped in the beginning, but now I don't need it. Like writing, practice makes proficient.
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by dgaughran » September 29th, 2010, 6:42 pm

...that you will never read a book the same way ever again.

Oh for that simple pleasure once more.
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polymath
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Re: Things I wish I'd been told when I started

Post by polymath » September 29th, 2010, 7:53 pm

dgaughran wrote:...that you will never read a book the same way ever again.

Oh for that simple pleasure once more.
That's a good one. I've been there. Getting past it was hard, until I started focusing on virtues and overlooking vices. I came out the other side with ever more deep and meaningful reading experiences.
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