I bought a beautiful piano from a dear friend this week and have moved happily into Maggie Learns to Play the Piano, part two. I made an appointment to have my new baby tuned the end of this month so each note will ring clear and true. Perhaps, as a fiction writer, my words and I could use a tuning, too.
I’m looking at the writer in the mirror now, really looking. Mirror, mirror in front of me, am I the best writer I can be? I don’t need some mirror to answer that or to remind me that chances are I may never be published, but if I don’t give writing my best effort, that’s a guarantee. So, I ask my writer self:
· Is writing a priority, at least as important as most things in your life?
· Do you read lots of books in your genre?
· Are you open to suggestions and criticism of your work?
· Is your story on your mind, whether you’re writing at the time or not?
· Before submitting, do you thoroughly research the agent or publishing house to know their needs and guidelines?
· Do you continue to submit your polished work, even in the face of rejection after rejection?
· Have you developed a thick skin, worthy of a seasoned writer?
· Is your love of writing strong enough to keep you trying and trying and trying?
· Do you believe in yourself and your words?
· Are you honest enough with yourself to set a stale project aside in favor of a fresh idea?
I see I can do better in some areas, especially with the thick skin item. Probably no one has ever died from hurt feelings, but I admit to approaching my death bed more than once. Like my words, I need revision on a regular basis.
What tuning do you and your words need to ring clear and true?