writing day-by-day

Versions

Certain film directors have done “director’s cuts” of their films, which is a longer version of the film originally released, with scenes the director has shot before but adds to the version first released. It may turn out like another version, without substantially altering the storyline.

Writers can do similar things with their pieces. A reviewer in one forum has published a review one way. In another forum says it differently, perhaps substantially differently, even better than before. This may be more than tweaking. It can be reinventing. But the view or opinion stays the same in invisible essence.

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writing day-by-day

Why continue writing at all? Especially after New Year’s.

New Year can mean there is a spike in divorces, according to one lawyer. Does it also mean a spike in giving up vocations,  jobs, employment or gigs as well?

One may feel like giving it the job away after a nice relaxing holiday. They call this the back to work blues or something like that. If you’re in a day job, you may quit and do something else, or keep on keeping on with the job you wished you loved, because you like the staff and not the job itself.

On the other end, if one doesn’t have commitments in writing, why continue writing at all?

There are writers who have commitments. I mean, they got to write and set goals because that’s expected of them, by the publisher, if they enjoy doing this or not. For these people, it pays the bills, as they say.

What’s the point of writing if you have no commitments like these? Why doesn’t one throw it in?

For the writer who is not stuck to any employer or publisher, here are three reasons to keep on going when there seems no point: One writes for their own satisfaction, three times over. And one may do some good along the way, for someone out there.

writing day-by-day

Editors are there to help you

A good editor will never embarrass a writer. They will not publish your piece if it’s going to make you sound less than what you are.

Sometimes, writers write pieces that may sound good on the surface, and they send it to the publisher. The editor reads it and puts it on hold, lets it marinate, and comes back to it.

The editor rejects the piece and sends you a rejection letter. Once you get the letter and have another look at the article they rejected, you may agree, that the editor was right not to publish it.

The piece is just going to embarrass the writer and probably the publication. A good editor will reject the piece because the piece would have made you look dumb.

Editors care about the image they are projecting through their writers.

Of course, the piece may have sounded terrible, anyway. But the editor is saving you from other embarrassments as well, like the self-image you’re sending.

writing day-by-day

Going public last on the writer’s to do list

There are reviews I have done that I am proud of and there are reviews I have done I am not proud of. So, why would one send the piece in the first place?

Individual reasons or circumstances differ, but writing can be a case of not doing as I do, but after I’ve done it, learn from my perceived “mistakes”. This may be one of those times.

Enthusiasm can be too infectious, too unbridled and down right thoughtless. One can be compelled to act without thinking it through.

Experience is a learner, but thinking first is always better as it can eliminate things one may regret publishing later. Going public is the last thing a writer should do.

writing day-by-day

Knowing when to say goodbye

When is the right time to say goodbye to a piece one has written? There was this story I was working on from about 2008. It was kind of an epic, intended as a novel, but might have been a series of short stories instead.

I wrote a few drafts, but it didn’t sound the way it should. So, I left it for a rainy day.

One day, I looked at it again with a pair of fresh eyes. Lifting the story to a better level wasn’t worth the effort. So, it is now safely filed away as a relic of a past writing experience, one that was worth it. Because it was experience in writing fiction.

But it is the right time to say goodbye to that piece. It wasn’t executed the way it should and to get it right would be a drag.

I just knew it was the right time to move on.

writing day-by-day

Is a writer human?

Is it okay for a writer to take a break?  Yes and no. First the no.

No in that a writer shouldn’t take a break. Taking a break is not expected of writer, so should accept this and do their job as is expected. Since it’s deemed fit for a writer to not take a break then their should be no relenting on behalf of the writer. Keep on working until your eyes fall out and the screen turns purple. Do your job.

Of course, writer doesn’t need to be told this, but is often told by peers and companions to get their motor running. What do you do all day in there in your room? Playing games? Bringing the mates over? Keeping the seat warm? Of course, these questions aren’t framed as questions, but as statements.

So, the writer is considered a lay about and should get a real job. No one believes a writer actually does any real work except for the one nice word which was, “He burns the candle at both ends of the stick”, which seems to be about one’s endurance as a writer, or is a disparaging comment on one’s perceived religion, if one is believed to be Catholic.

But this most undervalued of professions is given shock relief when a writer finally makes the big time and is praised for his enduring work.

Nonsense that a writer shouldn’t take a break. Everyone knows or should know, a writer must take a break. We are not in the ‘civilization’ of the slave trade. In this day and age, writers like any other worker are allowed by right to take a break.

Writers are the most underpaid but hardest and devoted of workers. They must take a break. Even a long one if necessary. Writers are human, too.

writing day-by-day

Submit everything or only the best?

Rejection seldom takes a writer well, but taking it on the chin can be enlightening.

Personally, I would like to see all of my articles etc. published. But this is unrealistic. One, my article may be inappropriate for the readers although on its own merits stands. Two, not everything of mine should be published. Why?

Simply because some of my pieces are better than others. So, when something is rejected, it’s not as good as the other pieces. I’ve learnt to see that there is always something better I’ve written. However, each publisher is different, so why not take a chance elsewhere? If there is another publisher that caters to the work that was rejected.

Generally, the lesson is to know which one’s are better and should be sent to a publisher — or failing that just take a risk and send something one is not so sure about. How does one know unless putting it through the submission process? Yet instinct may caution sending it.

In the final analysis start with the best work and work the way down. That’s what I’ve learnt from a piece that was rejected this week. It wasn’t as good as some others I could have sent.

So, start again, with the best works, not the top of the list. Don’t need to methodically tick off each piece that’s higher up alphabetically, but that aren’t so good. Submit the best pieces, and perhaps I should add only submit the best pieces.  Ever. Because they always have a better chance of being accepted.

writing day-by-day

The writer with entitlement [read: high level of motivation] is a storm force

Motivation can be an issue for a writer if not on assignment. I mean, although it’s possible for a writer not on assignment to be extremely motivated, it’s also possible that a writer not on assignment is unmotivated to produce their own material without much external pressure.

Pressure to get the assignment done is motivating, but without that pressure a writer may stop writing.

In those times, when there isn’t an assignment, I’m either inspired to write something or like I’ve said I just don’t bother.

But the writer with a sense of entitlement probably can do anything they set themselves to do. I don’t think I’m in that camp, but I’ve wondered what it feels like. To write off several books without a worry.

I found if I had a publisher in mind that was going to foreseeably publish my work, I did the work no worries. But when I wrote on speculation, without the expectation my work would get published, it gets harder when there’s been rejections with the work. The cumulative effect can be draining.

Expectation can also be a crippler as expectation doesn’t always match reality. But alas, one has hope one will be face the road blocks with ease one day.