Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bad Writing Habits?

What are your bad writing habits?

Why is your manuscript still in your computer and not in the hands of an editor or publisher? What keeps you from submitting your work? What stops you from completing that book or story you want to see published?

Some of the bad habits many of us can’t seem to break include the following:

Self Editing – Do you read over each sentence before you write the next one? Do you have to correct any punctuation of spelling errors before you can go on? Break this habit now. Let your thoughts, your creative mind flow like a moving stream. Let it dictate the words you spill out on the page. After your story is on paper there will be plenty of time to go back and edit.

Don’t stop until the story is on the page. -- It has been said there are no great writers only great re-writers. We must revise and that takes time. But don’t revise your work until your authentic voice has disappeared. 1.Write. 2. Put away for a while. 3. Read. 4. Revise or rewrite. 5. Put it away again.
But you have to let your manuscript go, no matter how afraid you are that it is not perfect.

Second-guessing yourself about your story. – I’ve been there and I know. After the story is done, you become afraid that the story is all wrong and is not ready to go just yet. You think you have to change the main character in some way to make him better, or change the direction of the story. Suddenly the whole thing is just too much to fix and the manuscript ends up never seeing the light of day.

Fear of the consequences if you mail your manuscript. – You ask yourself these questions: What if my work is not good enough, if it is really terrible and is rejected and no one will ever want it? Can I stand the embarrassment, the personal rejection I will feel, and will I ever write again? What if I am a complete failure?
Remember, the rejection is only one person’s opinion. Don’t take it personally. The next time you submit your work it could hit on the desk of just the right editor, the one who loves it. But this will never happen if the manuscript stays hidden in a drawer or lost in a file on your computer. Don’t let fear of failure stifle your writing.

Do you have any bad habits that hinder your submitting your writing? Let me hear your thoughts on this subject.


Pat Meece Davis said...

Glenda - You pegged me on that over-editing thing. I try to fix everything as I go - it's hard to move on if it not just so. Interesting topic!

Glenda C. Beall said...

But you seem to have gotten that book done, Pat.
Thanks for commenting.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I love the look of your blog. It's really cool as the young folks say.

I'm really excited about ECHOES ACROSS THE BLUE RIDGE. I can hardly wait to see the book. This is super news.

I have several things that bug me when it comes to writing. Lazy. That's the biggest problem.

Tipper said...

A great post-I guess I'm always worried about what others will think when I write.

(I'm half way through Echoes-and I love love it!!!)

Kathryn Magendie said...

I've learned to trust the process, and that's a gift you must give to yourself as a writer: trust the process, trust your voice, trust your instincts, trust you there is time to "tweak it to death" after it's all written--just Write it!

Glenda C. Beall said...

Tipper, thank you for stopping in. I think as a writer we give so much of ourselves, we always hope it will be well-received. I'm so glad you love Echoes. Isn't it great?

Glenda C. Beall said...

Great advice. Do you have great self-discipline? Does it take that to be a writer, a writer who can produce books as you are doing?