Emerge Unstoppable in 2011!

Emerge Unstoppable in 2011! That's my mission this year. Join me as I blog about life during divorce, raising a three year old, and the fight to live one's dream of being a writer, a graphic designer, a prayerfully a success at it all.

Monday, April 11, 2011

ABCs for New Writers – “F” is for Flexibility, Forgiveness and Fundamentals or Just Plain Fun

The F-words can be pretty offensive, but if you swallow hard, I’m sure you too can manage hearing them with grace.

Flexibility is a huge key to any new writer’s growth (note I didn’t say success). In order to grow you must be able to ebb and flow with life’s tides. Your first goal as a writer is to put humongous burdens on yourself. Make sure you set out to write for two hours (at least) or 2,ooo words a day. Don’t take into account sick days, vacation days, your kid’s days for each of those, the fact that your spouse, family, best friend needs you. NO! Set unreasonable goals so you have a good excuse to quit and not live your dream. What? Don’t want to give up on your dream? Alright then, breathe in these dream-sustaining words – remain flexible. Change as you need to and be proud that if you even daydream about your story for a minute today you have moved closer to living your dream of being a writer.

Forgiveness goes hand in hand with flexibility. If you make the mistake of taking on too much too soon (I’m speaking from experience here people) forgive yourself. Don’t quit. I would miss you. We would all miss you. The thing of it is you are part of a community now so if you leave we will notice. Your spirit – aka energy – will be missing from this fantastical world us writers call home. So, if you face unanticipated challenges, deal with them, forgive yourself a needed break, and then return to your community.

Finally (ah, another “F” word) we have fundamentals. Never stop learning the fundamentals of your craft. Our language is constantly growing and changing. You can read any urban dictionary to learn that (I’m waiting for the Grammar Divas to chime in here). But the fundamentals of good writing remain the same. Take an English refresher at your local university. Emory University offers one I’ll be taking in the fall. Take a workshop online. Read a book or watch a video on craft. Michael Hague’s The Hero’s Two Journeys is wonderful. Stephen King’s On Writing is insightful. You won’t regret knowing your craft.

Above and beyond all else, and this is most important, NEVER STOP HAVING FUN! Your dream isn’t meant to be work. I know. I know. When you get into the business of writing it will be more like work, but as a new writer it’s meant to be life giving. So, have fun with it. Be adventurous and creative and have FUN!

Until Wednesday, I remain Unstoppable.


  1. I must pick up "On Writing" -- thank you for the hot tip! I will read anything by Stephen King because he can write just about anything, and incredibly well at that. For anyone who thinks he's "just" a horror writer, think again. Oh, wait, he does have one limitation... film scripts. But that's a whole other discussion.

  2. Hi Lindy,

    The Grammar Divas agree. Flexibility, forgiveness and fundamentals keep a writer on top of the writing process. Language is always changing. Notice some of the "rules" drilled into us are now optional, at least for fiction. Fragments, for example. Prepositions at the end of sentences, for another. The caveat is to know what you're doing when you bend or break that rule. Think flexibility! (Annie still doesn't like prepositions at the end of sentences, but...well, bless her heart.)

    Great post, Lindy. And thanks for the shout-out.

    Yours in grammar,

  3. Hi Megan. THanks for stopping by. I agree about Stephen King - he can write just about anything. On Writing however is on target. I hope you love it! - Lindy

  4. Hi Darlene. Thanks for your comments and for stopping by. I hope you and Annie will visit often. I appreciate the wisdom you offer when it comes to understanding our language versus knowing it. You're right - sometimes you must step outside of the lines in order to get your point across. That's critical for all writers. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon. - Lindy

  5. For me right now, the most important things are flexibility and forgiveness. I didn't write much at all last week. But this week I am going to shoot for 250 words a day, my ROW 80 goal. I think I can...

  6. Great post! I have Stephen King's On Writing, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. I think you have inspired me to start. Thanks!