10 Wishes for She Writers in 2011 #swinspires
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When a New year arises, most of us do resolutions, but I've always made a list of goals I hope to accomplish in the new year. I'll still have my personal goals, but this year I'm compiling a list of wishes for writers. I sincerely wish they will all occur for us.

 

1. May Tayari Jones's new book, Silver Sparrow, sell well among readers across the board -- caucasions, writers of African origin, Native Americans, Hispanics, Italians, Asian Ameicans, etc. -- and that all She Writers will read. I also hope Vanessa (of Letter to Vanessa)reads and cries because it's so beautiful, powerful, and engaging. And I hope the movie is produced and it's box office hurrah.

 

2. I wish a merry, writerly year for all of us: A year where we write out our passions without worry.

 

3. May we all write the best work of our writing life, and that we recognize no one is perfect,

but know that we must shoot for the stars even though we might land on a cumulus cloud. 

 

4. May we all hone our craft using our own style without judgment and achieve reader interests for our publications in 2011.

 

5. May we all stay strong in mind and physically well to carry on our writing responsibilities and/our love for the writing craft.

 

6. May we all drop those negative thoughts about whether our work is good enough and not place power in the hands of naysayers who don't bring constructive criticism to the platform.

 

7. May we remember that we're competing against ourselves to bring forth our best work and continue to strive to exceed our last novel, collection of poetry, literary nonfiction, children's or adolescents' books, and memoirs.

 

8. May we remember the bridges that brought us across, and may we respect the readers but not think about this during our drafts. If we get hung up with too much besides getting it on paper/computer, we'll prolong the draft and writer's block will take control.

 

9. May we catapult all fears or opinions about whether this writing thing is worthy of publishing or whether we can pull it off.

 

While in grad school, I had a professor who said she hoped I could pull off the novel I was working on. I keep hearing her voice, and I wonder if I can pull it off. That doubt from her made me question my capacity/ability to succeed. I know better but her comment still runs rampant in my head. A negative comment has more power than a positive one even if the negative one is coded rather than a direct comment like "I know you can or I believe you can. How can I help?" Or why not offer resources and suggestions, I ask.

 

10. May we accept the positive comments and not dismiss them because we cannot see what praise issuers see, and respect and use negative criticism as a pathway to great writing. Yes, we can. Yes, we must. We have to think  positively about the work we love. That is, if we keep trying we'll get closer and closer to success.

 

I remember when I had written a 19-part series on drugs and alcohol. At the nineteenth column, the editor called on a Saturday morning to criticize a project I had not gotten much support from editors, although readers overwhelmed me with feedback. I had worked myself into a frenzy night and day. On that morning I told the editor to give me constructive criticism or nothing.

 

He carefully explained that my last column should connect the other stories and wrap up the series. He had no suggestions about the process. Angry and hurt, didn't know any better then, I went to the office and worked through the process to get this done. I did it. And on Monday, he complimented me for the "great closing" of that Herculean series. "You see what happens when we work together."

 

I learned a valuable lesson that I'll always remember. Take constructive criticism seriously, decipher it, and throw out what you absolutely won't work after thorough thinking, and use the good parts. As a writer, we can feel what works. My intuitive spirit guides me. When it's right, I feel the "aha moment."

 http://punditsandpoetry.blogspot.com http://joycespoems.blogspot.com and http://rawpoems.blogspot.com

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