Hi Writers - I will be your guest editor of the week. I am not even sure this is the right place to post, but here goes.
Many of my favorite pieces of advice come from lists of "what not to do" and how to avoid "rookie" mistakes at all costs. One of my favorite books that illustrates this principal is The Forest For the Trees by editor Betsy Lerner. In it, she glides between descriptions of how the phenomenon haunts many a writer in so many ways, and how to avoid the chasms and other such dips in a writer's road to success that cause them. I have subscribed to writing magazines since my late teens and have collected a hefty sum of top ten lists which many highlight "what not to do as a writer." Lately, I've referred to writing coach, Sage Cohen's, top ten hints of how to get over fear in writing which can be found on the Writer's Digest website:
In it, Cohen talks about ways to "identify " the "subtlety" of fear. As we practice the art of writing, typing and stopping, musing and typing, calling a friend, then typing some more, many of us have fears that lurk on each new white page, perhaps unbeknownst to us. For me, they have been "What I just wrote rocks so much. Oh sh**, what if the next page is uninspired and I hate it? What if I write pure dross and can't get back to the sublime?" I hadn't known about this fear until recently, while writing a piece I actually liked, and then, as my fingers paused and I almost stopped writing for the day, I asked myself, why am I stopping? Geez, it's fear, isn't it? What m I afraid of? Sucki-ness. Ugly prose that just limps and goes flat and dies. So it's that fear of death again, eh? Whatever your fear, or issue around writing, my favorite theme will involve several writers, authors, bloggers, poets and more this week as I hopefully support you on your quest to vanquish crappy or penultimate writing. Welcome to "What not to do."