I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Friday, April 29, 2011

My A-Z of Writing Tips: Your Say

I have a few questions I’d love to hear your thoughts on:*
  1. Why do you write?
  2. Do you struggle with writing? Are there any challenges you have to overcome just to write (eg commitments, health, time pressures, disabilities, etc)?
  3. Do you have a critique partner(s) or group? How did you find them? How do you work with each other on a day-to-day/week-to-week basis?
* I’m planning some blog posts on these subjects, so I might pop in your answers – let me know if you’d rather I don’t :)


Pearson Report said...

Hi Rachael,

It’s always hard to answer writing questions but let me give it a go.

1. I write to release the beasts. Or angels. Depends.

2. I am lucky not to struggle with the thought process, but the writing (as in grammar) stresses me more than it should. I have no impediments other than time.

3. I do have individuals that critique my work. I found them through my business. We are not an organized group, in fact, it is a very casual thing. When I am needing that extra eye for grammar or structure I will ask them to look at my work.

I have no problem with you using these answers, but just give me heads up by email if you actually do!

I've really enjoyed this A-Z Challenge and meeting so many talented writers/bloggers. You're site has been particularly interesting.

Cheers, Jenny

Savannah Chase said...

I write because I love it. It is my passion and expression. I do struggle at times when I get stuck. As for a CP, I currently do not have one. Those are hard to find..Would love to have one for sure....

Crystal said...

Excellent questions all!

1) I write to exorcise demons and preserve the great moments. I also write to provide an outlet for my *ahem* active imagination, record/share my thoughts, feelings and philosophies, and for the sheer pleasure of pursuing the answer to the question: "What if?"

2) Yes, I struggle. I struggle to stay on task owing to a short attention span. I combat this by breaking each task into small bites (like three pages per day for my current WIP versus, say, 10 pages, or x amount of words). I also struggle because I'm literally typing on a computer all day, so it's hard to gear myself up to do... more typing! I combat this by writing short stories, poetry and essays long-hand first.

3) No CP or writing partner(s)/group(s) yet, but I would like them. Anyone interested? Anyone? ;-)

Raejean said...

I'm curious to read your posts on these subjects.
1) I write for enjoyment and sanity. It can be therapeutic to work out my thoughts. I also write to remember.
2) I have a hard time writing when I'm sad. There are also time issues. And sometimes I question the relevance of what I write or want to write.
3)I don't have a critique partner or group. It seems a little scary to open to critique right now :)

Thanks for asking!

Sierra Gardner said...

Hey Rachel! A big thanks again for doing the Crusade - so much fun! My answers:

1) I write as a release - it is the thing in my life that I love to do and that I do for myself.
2) My biggest challenge is finding time between all of my other commitments. Especially since it takes me a while to get into the writing mode.
3) I have several critique partners that are members of a writing group I go to (they are awesome!) and a couple of CP's I met online. The writing group meets once a month so we always critique then but usually we just send each other stuff when we have it.

p.s. Feel free to use the answers =)

Natasha Hanova said...

1.) To make the voices simmer down.
2.) My writing used to consume my every waking moment. I'd get up at 5 a.m., just to make sure I'd have enough time to write. Then, my mother passed away and my muse went into hibernation. So, yes, I struggle with writing now, but I'm not giving up.
3. Found my critique partners at a continued education college course ten years ago. We still get together every Tuesday come rain, sunshine, snow, blizzard… I *LOVE* my critique group.

Akoss said...

1. Because I enjoy challenging myself and I want to write stories as good as the ones I've been reading, not just for my own pleasure.
2. I struggle with writing because I still have a lot to learn when it comes to the technicalities. My only challenge is finding enough time to calm down after day job and get some writing done.
3. I've started a local writing group with a friend but it's still in its early/testing stage. I've recently found one critique partner (on kidlit.com), but our relationship is still pretty young. For the writing group we do a monthly meeting. I have yet to find out a way to coordinate my writing with my critique partner but I'm sure it will happen with time.

ps: Feel free to use my answers.

Suze said...

It's weird but I don't know how to answer the question, 'Why do you write?' Maybe it's a little like asking, 'Why do you love your child?'

As for critique groups, that is a bit of a thorny question. I've had a lot of beta readers in my day and only a very few have not done some damage to the process. All I'll say about that is, know when to back away from a dynamic that is killing you softly. This certainly applies to single beta readers who are not writing projects of their own but have offered to read your work. Overall, it's a really mixed bag. I hate to be negative about anything so I'm trying to answer this question matter-of-factly. I hope it comes across that way. (Fingers crossed.)

Of course, there are always the beta readers who just come alongside you at the right time and bring their intelligence and heart to bear on your work in a way that is just magic. I know none of them will read this comment but I'd just like to single out the light of Shawn, Adrienne, Sandra and Raul. May the work of their own hands be blessed.

Okay, thanks for letting me ramble on the topic!

Zan Marie said...

Great questions, Rach!
1. I write because I'm a writer and need to be. I have to let all these stories out or I'd go a bit whacky.

2.My biggest struggle is with chronic fatigue. Somedays, my mind just doesn't function.

3.My critique group is the Compuserve Books and Writers Forum. The crew in the exercises folder are first class partners.

Michael Offutt said...

I write so that I can feel bad about myself when Levi Johnston gets a book contract for knocking up Bristol Palin. Oh wow...did I just say that? My tourettes is acting up... SORRY!!!!

Scheherazade said...

Love Michael's comment!

1. Writing is my obsession and my profession. I'm a technical writer but my heart is with fiction writing.
2. My biggest struggle is juggling all the stuff of life and finding time for writing. I think it's strange that writing has become more demanding, requiring skills that most writers resent having to develop (marketing) because it takes them away from writing. Nevertheless, I'm game even though I'd much rather spend my precious little time on writing my novel.
3. In the past I have used critique groups. They are essential to the learning process, but can be detrimental if they are not fair and honest. If I had my choice between a group that is vicious and one that is too kind, I would choose the vicious one. Personally, it's easier to process brutal critiques than one's that tell you everything you write is wonderful. I recently discovered an excellent writer and critique partner online. I think her input will be very helpful and I hope I can provide some useful input to her as well.

Madeleine said...

I've always had an urge to write: letter, stories. I made lorts of my own books when i was small (just think what I could have done with today's technology!) LOL!

I'd love a CP and yes I have says when my mind does a blank and days when I'm uber productive.
I also love writing things for my blog and getting responses from others on the topics and questions I pose.
Congrats on achieving the A-Z challwnge and thanks for hosting the Second Crusader Challenge :O)

J.C. Martin said...

1) Because I've always enjoyed sharing my stories, and I have this hare-brained idea to try and make a living out of something I enjoy.

2) I'm still learning a lot. Bits I continue to struggle with include dialogue and showing v telling. I also. I used to struggle finding time to write, but now that I've changed my day job I have at least a couple of hours a day to squeeze a bit of writing in. Oh, and I only work 4 days a week! :) Now my challenge is making the most of this time!

3) Not yet, although fellow Crusader Chris Kelworthy has suggested we should try finding CPs among our fellow Crusaders--great idea! Anyone game?

Rebecca Dupree said...

I just wanted to stop in and say hi! We finished the a to z challenge! Woooo! And I am so excited about the new crusaders challenge!

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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