Category: Writing and Life

Practice helps your writing craft, writing skills grow

Practicing your writing helps you become more skilled as a writer — and it can make your writing income grow as well. I’ve found an excellent writing resource that I may have mentioned before, but I think it deserves a serious look for any of you who are serious about any sort of career as writers.

I’m referring to the website/blog site of Dean Wesley Smith, a writer whose work and instruction I am coming to love. He’s been incredibly helpful, wonderfully inspirational, and highly entertaining.

One of the many words of advice Dean frequently offers is the importance of writing itself as “practice” and training for, uh, well — writing. He often mentions those who worry about throwing out writing and starting over again. Such worries take the form of “Oh, my, I’ve just
wasted three weeks on a chapter that I’m going to have to toss. What a waste!”

Not a waste, Dean would say, but rather it was exceedingly worthwhile PRACTICE. More than once, he compares writers to musicians and singers. No one would learn to play basic scales on the violin then immediately play Carnegie Hall, would they? No, they’d spend hundreds of hours on their instrument before ever hoping to reach a major concert venue.

Yet we writers groan and moan over “wasted” writing that we may need to toss out — instead of understanding and applying the concept of practice to our writing. NOTHING we ever write is truly wasted, Dean says, as all of it is a learning process.

I encourage you to go to Dean’s website and poke around awhile. He’s a true “pro” with several hundred novels and hundreds of short stories (both traditionally published and indie published) to his credit. It’s well worth your time and will offer truly useful tips for doing your writing right.

Published my first Kindle ebook for writers: 200 Original Story Prompts

Buy my newest Kindle ebook for writers, 200 Original Story Prompts to Jump-Start Your Writing

Writers must love, or learn to love, language if they are to write well

Writers need to love language, everything about language. If you don’t find grammar, usage, words, word play, even spelling fascinating, chances are you’re not doing as well at being a writer as you might like. When it gets right down to it, words and all aspects of language — in my case the English language, […]

Dusting off manuscript, reworking for Kindle publication

I’m currently dusting off an old manuscript of mine (blowing off the virtual dust and debris from the shelf where it’s been shoved on my hard drive) and reworking it to publish on Kindle. This novel is one which I excerpted some years ago here on the website. As I mentioned in that earlier article, […]

OK, so I’m once again taking the plunge into Twitter

OK, so I’m once again taking the plunge into the world of Twitter. For any of you interested in following me, I’m now @gswriterguy on the service. I wanted to go with just “Gary Speer,” but another Gary Speer was already on Twitter. I linked in my profile to this website, and I’m scrambling around […]

What’s your NaNoWriMo writing plan?

A few days ago, I wrote about NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — and encouraged all of you to consider this event’s wacky challenge: write a novel of at least 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30. Those who take the challenge and “win” get a couple of important prizes: 1. Bragging rights […]

Yikes! NaNoWriMo is almost upon us writers already!

Where have I been and what was I thinking?? National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, will be here faster than I realized. Yes, I know, I should have looked more closely at the calendar or paid more attention to what I saw. It’s right there in the same place every year at this time, isn’t […]

What might retirement look like for writers?

What might the idea of “retirement” look like to writers — or artists of any sort, for that matter? As a writer, do you think of a day when you might quit writing? I mean really quit all together? I think about this every time I meet old friends I haven’t seen for awhile. I […]

Outsourcing appears to be ruining online writing industry

Outsourcing of content writing to Third World English speakers (for lack of a better term) appears to be ruining the online writing industry. The Internet is a VERY big “place,” pretty much unlimited in size, so it’s always difficult to generalize. So, really, I’m only speaking from my limited viewpoint and experience when I make […]

Odd phrases people search for on the Internet

If you’ve been online for long, you’ve probably used Google, or Yahoo!, or Bing, or one of the many “search engines” out there to search for information, or perhaps for a particular website. Being word people, we writers (I say “we” meaning specifically my wife and I) enjoy word games. We enjoy anything fun or […]

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