On Writing

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writing a novella

A quick note to let you know the novella is going excruciatingly and painfully awful. But as one of my readers said, you just have to be willing to be awful for awhile.  I’m good with that.

The good thing for me is that when I read over the last two days of draft work (my very first attempt at fiction) that it’s crystal clear where the problems are. At least I recognize crap. And, I have *some* idea of how to fix it. However, I’ve promised myself not to go into editing mode until the draft is complete.

This is where my work differs from my non-fiction writing. With non-fiction I edit more-or-less constantly. That way, by the time I’m done with the book or the article or whatever, it’s fairly well-polished. It’s very hard for me not to edit as I go with this novella – but I’m keeping hands-off.

By the way, the photo above is my image of what it looks like outside Little Creek, Arizona – the setting for my novella. It’s fall and the cottonwoods are turning.

P.S. I’m posting daily totals over on twitter with hashtag #nancywritesanovella

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write what you love

 

The majority of the magazine articles and web content I used to write weren’t about topics I love. In fact, most were on topics that I had no hand in choosing. As a fulltime freelance writer, this was my business model and it worked just fine.

But now, 29 books and countless articles later, I’m at a place in my life – and my business – that I’m being challenged to take a hard look at the work I produce. Do I want to wrap up my career writing what I’ve always written? Or do I want to go out on a very skinny limb and try something totally new? I opt for the latter.

Starting September 2 (coincidentally, my birthday) I’m jumping feet-first into a novella that’s been whirling around my mind for a couple of years. My goal is to tweet my progress daily, so please hold my feet to the fire on this one. Be looking for #nancywritesanovella. I’m @nhendrickson1 over on Twitter.

But returning to the question of writing what we love. I can honestly say that when I wrote magazine articles for which I had a passion, they were some of the best work I ever produced. However, I have no idea if I’ll love writing fiction. Honestly, I could reach September 7 or 8, and say “this is for the birds”.

Stay tuned.

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hanx 707

In case you missed it, Tom Hanks’ app – the HanxWriter – topped the iTunes charts last week. What does it do? It emulates the look and sound of a typewriter.  It even chimes when you reach the end of a line. Fortunately, unlike a real typewriter, it also features a delete key.

The app is free, with in-app purchases ranging from $2.99 to $4.99. The purchases will get you another 2 models (the Hanx 707 and the Hanx Golden Touch) along with a different font style.

If you’re of a generation that misses the clickety-clack of typewriter keys, you’ll love this app. I do, but (alas) I only gave it a 3-star rating in the app store. That’s because it only allows saving in a PDF format. . . . keep reading

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Writers & the Bane of Perfectionism

  I’ve had a few emails from newsletter readers about writing and perfectionism. Like most writers, I’ve spent more time than I’d like to confess worrying over a single sentence. The truth is, perfection is an illusion. As writers we can only write as perfectly as we can in the moment. Two years from now you’ll […]

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Does Your Writing Sound Like Crap? Don’t Worry.

Bird by Bird author Anne Lamott said it best: Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something—anything—down on paper. What I’ve learned to do when I sit down to work on a shitty first draft is to quiet the voices in my head. Need a creative […]

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Free Your Idea – Then Have the Courage to Follow Where it Leads

Writing a book isn’t a linear process. You come up with an idea, you think about it, you change it, it changes you, you think some more, you write, you rewrite, you rethink, you write some more. If your book isn’t coming together as quickly as you’d hoped, it’s possible you haven’t set it free […]

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