Monday, October 1, 2012
Are We There Yet?
Road trips are one of my favorite things in life, especially if someone else is driving. No matter how much I like them, the novelty wears a bit thin after the first 100 miles.Traffic jams and construction hamper progress. My back and legs scream for a good stretch, as well as relief from the constant motion.
The writer's journey is a lot like a road trip. The planning, anticipation, goal setting, and initial work are all driven by enthusiasm. Once we hit a certain rhythm, we just want "to be there." Our word count moves along much slower than we'd anticipated. Writer's block, plot holes, life's surprises all threaten the desired end result - a completed manuscript.
How To Survive a Road Trip (without going stir crazy)
1. Make sure you have clear directions.
2. Stopping every couple of hours keeps you limber and may prevent dangerous blood clots in your legs.
3. Food. There's something comforting about a snack on a long trip. You also avoid ridiculous prices and losing travel time.
4. Music, teaching tapes, games for the younger set, and taking in the scenery make the miles and time fly.
5. If you're not driving, a quick snooze might be in order. My friends often traveled at night, so the kids would sleep through a chunk of the trip.
How To Survive The Writing Journey (without driving every one around you insane)
1. Read as much as you can about the business side of publishing. You'll run into fewer unpleasant surprises along the way.
2. Explore various genres and determine which one best fits your interests and talents.
3. Take time to acquire the skills you need to communicate your story.
4. Don't be in a rush to present your work to editors and agents. You'll save yourself a heap of embarrassment and avoid a bad first impression.
5. Take a break to enjoy life. Putting God and family first will make your writing stronger and more satisfying.
Writers: What are some of your writing survival skills?
Readers: Do you have any tips for a frazzle-free road trip?
Photo credit: Windchime