One of the questions I get asked most frequently is "What's your best advice
for aspiring writers?" My answer usually surprises people. It doesn't have
to do with reading or editing. On the surface it doesn't even have to do
with putting words on the page, but dig deeper and it has everything to do
with crafting great stories. Here's my best writing tip:
Live your life to the fullest.
Sounds like something that should be in a self-help manual, doesn't it? But
how many of us forget that it's our own experiences as we travel through
this world that will infuse our minds with new, exciting ideas and our
writing with rich and evocative details? The hero's journey isn't just for
our characters, it's meant for us, too. The call to adventure is ours.
Whether it's the adventure of becoming a published author or the adventure
of becoming the best human being we can be, it's our own experience pushing
through obstacles and finding resolutions that will infuse our writing with
that undefineable quality called "heart" that elevates a story from fiction
So today, do something unexpected. Plan that vacation to someplace you've
never been. Surprise your spouse or your kids or yourself. Visit someone you
consider a mentor. Try a food you've never tasted. Step away from the
keyboard and give yourself permission to explore.
Monday, September 29, 2008
KL Going: Writing Advice
We're interrupting our daily conference notes (to resume tomorrow!) with a short article I found on the SCBWI list-serv. KL Going is contributing to a workshop on writing and the hero's journey. If I had an extra $1k, I'd go. Going sounds like a dynamic presenter, and her book is one on my TBR pile. Anyway, one of the SCBWI list-serv posters shared this snippet from Going that, weeks later, is still ringing true with me: