Being a writer is amazing; there is always something new to learn. 2009 has been a year with a huge learning curve for many of us.
Before August, I wasn't even sure how to spell the word blog let alone know how to post one.
I have been in my "comfort zone" of writing for so long that I kinda got my butt kicked this year. I have all these stories either in my head or in manuscript form. Why are they sitting around?
# 1 I learned by self-publishing that the door to write and… Continue
Added by Leslie S Moon on December 31, 2009 at 3:23pm —
1. Everyone, I mean Everyone, has a story to tell.
2. People just want to be heard.
3. Writing really does heal, if you look for the lessons in even the most painful experiences.
4. Despite the naysayers, those who call memoirs "confessional" or self-absorbed, they are as popular as ever. People love to read about how others deal with life.
5. Memoir and personal essays are my favorite form or creative writing. I always come back to it.
Added by Linda Wisniewski on December 31, 2009 at 1:24pm —
I left Times Square and its business of naked and boozy in the mid 80s, but like a ballplayer past his prime with just one shining season - I still live there. It was the most vibrant time of my life.
I kept records of everything–diaries, journals, calendars and phone books going back to 4th grade. Everything except the ten years that were Times Square; almost none of those records survived. Maybe they never even existed. According to Social Security one of those missing years I… Continue
Added by jodi sh doff on December 31, 2009 at 1:20pm —
1. That persistence can work--I mean over ten years of writing, rewriting, changing point of view twice and almost giving up. I learned that the book sold on Valentine's Day, while I was at the AWP conference in Chicago--the phone to my ear inside a Kinko's as the wind blew outside. It was heaven, even in the chill.
2. That even though a part of me would have loved to share my finished, published book with my parents when they were alive, that their deaths(at 91 and 93 after good,… Continue
Added by Louise Nayer on December 31, 2009 at 10:59am —
First, and most importantly: Working on scholarly papers is great. Research -- physically getting back into the stacks of a library, discovering in some awe that one's university's library actually has a whole shelf on an author you wouldn't think it might -- is deeply absorbing and wonderful. The reward of delivering a paper at a conference is both social -- you meet excellent people -- and a fresh shine on your curriculum vitae. This is not the same as actually writing poems.
Added by Gwyn McVay on December 31, 2009 at 10:32am —
In 2009 I learned, day after day, that spending hours publicizing left no time to think, process and produce well-developed writing. Yet I did it anyway at times.
I didn't do everything I wanted. Far from it. Balance is an ongoing saga. Being busy sure beats the alternative.
B. Lynn Goodwin
Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers
Added by B. Lynn Goodwin on December 30, 2009 at 11:48pm —
Its been a long year, and frankly I'm glad to see it leaving us in peace. Despite the challenges I've faced, I can rejoice in many learning experiences, as well as the formation of many new friendships. Having said all that, I'll get to the good stuff and share with you the top ten things I learned about writing over the past year.
1. If you tell someone you're a writer, they will ask you what you've written that they might have read or heard of. I find this interesting on several… Continue
Added by Tamara on December 30, 2009 at 9:32pm —
I only just started blogging in July of '09 and didn't know a thing about what I was doing. Though it was easy enough to convince myself I was writing to the air because, being the confidant writer I am, I knew nobody would read a word.
One quiet, down-trodden night I reduced myself to googling my sad, little blog, and finding nil I padded around the internet in pajamas and bare feet trying not to make my presence known. I don't know whose room I ended up in, but saw a note taped to… Continue
Added by E Victoria Flynn on December 30, 2009 at 8:54pm —
I've come to rely on the role my blog plays in my life--blog as co-conspirator, accomplice, and witness.
I've learned that that is one of ways my blog's voice has become so clear in it's intent, and mission to reflect on this chaotic choice life I'm running behind half the time.
Biggest ah-ha's this year:
1. the more I write, the more I write.
2. shorter posts illicit more responses.
3. my free verse style is fresh for people, and it is OK to mix… Continue
Added by Catherine Anderson on December 30, 2009 at 8:32pm —
I can think of five lessons I've learned under a pile of magazines and here they are:
1) The articles in the pages of the magazines that lay piled on my living room floor, on my kitchen table, and on the desk in my office didn't write themselves. Writers researched the ideas, sent targeted pitches, and got an editor's attention. If that's how it's done, I should read those magazines, instead of leaving them all piled up like that.
2) I could invite more people over for a… Continue
Added by Jackie Dishner on December 30, 2009 at 7:57pm —
1. I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY!
2. PEOPLE ARE LISTENING, SHARING AND COMMENTING
3. SHARING AND COLLABORATING WITH OTHER AUTHORS IS INSPIRING AND CREATES LOTS OF ENERGY (check out http://www.writersrising.blogspot.com/
4. CHASING AFTER SUCCESS BY BLOGGING OR WRITING ONLY BRINGS DISAPPOINTMENT
5. SUCCESS IS
BLOGGING/WRITING BECAUSE… Continue
Added by Katherine Jenkins on December 30, 2009 at 6:58pm —
These are things I knew but have been reminded of in 2009.
1. Writers write. They may talk about writing. Think about writing. Read books about writing. But at the end of the day if you aren't writing, you aren't a writer.
2. Ass in chair. No explanation necessary.
3. Every time you face the blank page, it is a leap of faith. And it is a brand new exercise.
4.If you keep writing, YOUR voice will eventually show up. And you will love that.
5.You know how people say "it… Continue
Added by Andrea King Collier on December 30, 2009 at 6:31pm —
One slightly jaded former technology professional-turned-math teacher + freelance writer's perspective:
1. Blogging is about as edgy as journaling (yawn) - do it for personal development or as an archive of your writing - but don't humor yourself it will produce revenue. That train departed years ago.
2. Having said that - yes, download Word Press and create a basic blog - even if it ends up gathering cobwebs between your posts . A blog (i.e. public access to some… Continue
Added by Muddslide on December 30, 2009 at 5:30pm —
1. The re-investigation is healing. The way we remember, organize and tell our stories -- and the way the events weave themselves together in the telling -- has power.
2. I was shocked to find that people I'd lost my heart to disappeared entirely while other people showed up as full-blown characters in the narrative. Case in point: some of the guys turned out to be inessential, not part of the real story, while a girl I met at a dinner party in Queens, who provided a genuine shift in… Continue
Added by Brooke Berman on December 30, 2009 at 5:12pm —
At the suggestion of Ms Siegel, I am starting to use this blog by listing some things I learned about writing this year:
1. It helps to protect your most productive writing time (afternoon for me) and do other work during other time.
2. Revising is really hard, sometimes it's easier to start over and import parts from your previous draft.
3. The best way to get better at writing is to write. The second best way is to read good writers.
4. An attentive editor is a…
Added by Bethany Keeley on December 30, 2009 at 5:11pm —
I've only been a published author since December of 2008, and over the course of this past year I have learned much. Among the most important points I have learned are the following:
1. Write for yourself as much as you are writing with publication and audience in mind. The muses go on hiatus even during the most exciting of projects; if you're not enjoying what you're writing, your productivity will suffer as a result.
2. Do not expect family to pad your fan base. I found… Continue
Added by L. Lane on December 30, 2009 at 4:01pm —
Offer some guest posts to blogs that attract your target audience. Authors often post on each other's blogs, when they should focus on finding blogs their readers visit.
Added by Judith Marshall on December 30, 2009 at 2:51pm —
Ok, here we go. In that spirit of focusing on lessons learned during 2009—rather than dwelling on shortcomings we’d like to try to resolve in the year to come—let's share that thing or two that we've learned about writing--and/or being a writer--over the past year. Feel free to post in comments or in a post on your own blog here on the site. If you do the latter, ping me through the site (or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll “feature” your post… Continue
Added by Deborah Siegel on December 30, 2009 at 2:00pm —
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR BOOK LAUNCHING (AKA, Ms. Manner for Writers)
In twenty-two days, St. Martin’s Press will release my novel, The Murderer’s Daughters, the story of sisters who witness their father murder their mother and struggle with the aftermath for the next thirty years.
Panic best defines my countdown to publication state-of-being. How will I bear bad reviews? Or no reviews? What if no one comes to my book launch party? What if there’s a blizzard that night?… Continue
Added by Randy Susan Meyers on December 30, 2009 at 10:30am —
I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions that are unpleasant to fulfill. I tend to opt for resolutions like “dance more,” “light more candles,” “drink more wine.” (Here’s me over at Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project blog last year, telling it straight
.) Similarly, I like to go into… Continue
Added by Deborah Siegel on December 29, 2009 at 9:30am —