Saturday, February 18, 2012

Feeling like a writer by reading The Writer

Yesterday's mail brought the new issue of The Writer magazine, and there's a lot to read in it this month. It's a little like reading several writing blogs, only they're all right there in your hands, all you have to do is turn the page instead of click on the links.

"10 tips for getting your novel published" includes some good advice, including a couple of things you've been told and told but really, they mean it. Read other books in your genre to learn what's selling and what readers expect, learn what agents want to you to send them (and the unspoken corollary, don't send them stuff they don't want.) There's a timely article on what writers should know about taxes (and we all hope this becomes a major issue soon.) But my favorite was about a guy who was in New York on 9/11 and the event caused him to re-evaluate his life. He moved to L.A. and, by sheer perseverance and hard work, became a writer on "Law and Order: SVU." It was kind of inspiring.

There was a really good article about writing for the children's market in the previous month's issue, and an article on the values and pitfalls of self-publishing, told by six writers who have gone both routes.

If you want to be a writer, write. But more than that, shape your life to support and reinforce the idea that you're a writer, and never use "support and reinforce." It's redundant. But perhaps you want to belong to a book group. Read writing blogs. Take a class. Things that repeat the mantra in your mind, "I'm a writer."

Over the course of the month I'll read pretty much everything in there. Besides any enjoyment or information I get - and there's plenty - it reinforces that feeling in me that I'm a writer.

On another note: Had a brain storm on Scurvy Dogs! that I'm excited about. I was sitting in a Board of Elections meeting when it hit me. I immediately flipped my note pad over and started jotting ideas down. It'll require reworking the front end to set up, but I already knew I have to do that. It'll help bring the whole thing full circle, and it'll be really cool. Need to do a little research. Gotta find my copy of Empire of Blue Water. Which by the way is the best pirate book I've ever read.

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