Tuesday, August 24, 2010

10 Writerly Reminders

10. Your first draft is not your last draft.

9. Make your characters suffer before you give them cake.

8. A thesaurus is a wonderful tool but use it with discretion.

7. "What if..." is the writer's best friend. (or this writer, anyway!)

6. You cannot plan for inspiration. It erupts when it wishes. Be prepared.

5. Snacks are a good thing.

4. Only other writers will understand how much self-discipline it takes to write.

3. You will never read any book the same way again.

2. Don't have liquids near your computer.

1. Your 15th draft might not be your last draft.


  1. I like all of them, but 5 and 2 are my favourite, lol.

    Hey El, I'm sure I can still fit in a date for you to host a stop on my October tour ... all dates are filled with at least one host, but I have a two-for-one double-post day already and can easily do another one. Just contact me off-blog at marvwilson2020atgmaildotcom if you're still interested, ok?

  2. Excellent points, every one. I especially like #4 and #1.

  3. Old Silly; I knew someone would appreciate those two!

    Carol; They're so true aren't they? I relearn #4 every single day.

  4. Elspeth - Thanks for these wonderful reminders! I cling to #4... It's really hard to be a writer on some days, but you folks make it bearable on even the worst days!

  5. Margot; I honestly don't know what I'd do without the support from this wonderful online community of writers. I'm so grateful to have 'met' everyone!

  6. LOL

    I am on a first draft right now, and things are going so wonderfully smoothly that that alone is enough to convince me it is just ... the first draft. Still, I am going to enjoy every second of it - as long as it lasts.

  7. Dorte; What a charmed existence! Enjoy it. Revel in it. Remember it.

  8. I lost count of the number of drafts my memoir went thru. It's done when it's done, I guess. This list is so true for me. And I'm with you on the support of this online community. It makes such a difference to know others are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.

  9. These are all so true, especially #4!
    Does #5 include cookies? (Please say yes...)

  10. Thanks for the reminders. All are so true!

  11. Your ninetieth might not be your last but don't edit it to death. Let it die peacefully.


  12. Oh, yeah. #10 and #1 are right on. No one knows this better than I do. :)

  13. # 4. # 4. # 4.
    Do I sound obsessive? I am. I feel threatened, angry, useless.
    Someone just told me, in all seriousness, that she can write better than me if she wants to. I do not doubt it, but if you can write so well, why don't you do so? Everyone is a brilliant writer till it comes to actually transcribing the words on paper, and editing, editing, editing.

    Rant over. I can relax, re-read your list and say I wish I remembered # 2 last week. Great list, as always.

  14. Hi Rayna: someone really said that? She sounds like an envious teenager to me. Immature critique is not very useful so I hope you´ll be able to forget it soon.

  15. I love "what if...?" And snacks. I love snacks, too. But #1 hits closest to home for me these days.

  16. Yes on #8! I find this problem in reading, and I find it in editing scripts at work. Big words do not equal smart--unless they're used properly and with discretion.

    Emily Dickinson biographer on SouthernCityMysteries

  17. *snork. I love it. Great set up and final line. Oh so true though. :-)

  18. hee hee! I like one and ten or ten and one. you know what I mean...
    also the no cake for characters thing.
    and maybe for me.
    back to work..
    right now.
    (that's me I'm talking to but now I have cake on my mind)
    Jan Morrison

  19. "Your 15th draft might not be your last draft."
    That may well be the saddest thing I've ever read.


Please leave a comment as I love to hear from you!