Monday, September 01, 2008


Posted by Lisa Marnell

Last Friday we, at the writers' group, posted our thoughts on what we've learned over the summer as September arrives today. I am in a very happy place these days as I have finished my first second draft of my YA - long story. I'm loving working to pull threads tight, word paint settings, work on dialogue (Hannah, you'll help me there, right?) As I reflect over the last year of scrapping and changing this WIP, there are many, many things that have helped me. Here is another strategy that works for me:

Make up a mantra about your writing to keep you focused and energized. Even when I am losing in a tennis match (and I'm not so good at tennis), I repeat these words in my mind: "I am fast, I am strong, I am getting better every day. " (I really do say that to myself - I can't believe I just admitted that). When it comes to my writing, I made up a mantra a month ago. It's very simple. It's this: "My story is beautiful." Whether or not my story is beautiful is something that readers will decide. What's important is that I remind myself that I care about this story and I care about these characters.

Did I just give out writing advice? Who am I to give out writing advice? My novel needs work. It will be ready for our group to read in September and there will be changes, perhaps many changes to make. Though I may not yet be published (time will tell), I am in a place where I have been successful with writing this WIP. I wrote a story I love and I am proud of. That's cool. I can't say I've been here before.

To go into the dark with a light is to know the light
To know the dark, go dark, go without sight
And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings
And is travelled by dark feet and dark ways.

Wendel Berry


Carleen Brice said...

Very inspirational! Mantra or affirmation, here's one of mine: "I'm telling a story I was born to tell."

Creative A said...

I never really thought about it before, but I *do* have a mantra! "Just get the novel written." I have to put blinders on myself sometimes, and stop thinking about all the stuff I'm not doing right.

Yay for you, Lisa :)


Lisa Marnell said...

Carleen - I like that mantra because it rings so true with anyone. Each of us are inspired by our unique memories, experiences etc. It's our own story to write and only we can make it beautiful.

Creative - That mantra has inspired me! I got to get this WIP done.