A few years ago, I’ve participated in an in-person writing workshop with Orson Scott Card, which was just plain awesome. So I was intrigued when I came across a online writing class with James Patterson yesterday. Aside from it being a cool experience, he will also pick one student to co-author his next book with. Whereas I will certainly submit something, I know that mysteries/thrillers are not my writing style (and my voice is really different from JP’s, too), so I know that I won’t really have a chance. However, I am sure I’ll learn a lot, which might help me to get my manuscript to an agent. Fingers crossed!
I’m very happy though that my friend Timewalkerauthor has also signed up for this class. He, like me, has a completed manuscript, and his writing style could be a good fit for JP. Most of all though I hope that he will make some time again to start writing query letters.
“Do NOT sit there like ‘Oh I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow’.
Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself!” –James Patterson
I have to admit that I haven’t really been taking the time to write as much as I want. So my resolution for the next few months is to sit down a few days a week and force myself to write. Yes, I know that sounds odd. But it’s like forcing yourself to go to the gym. Even if you don’t feel like going, you know you feel better afterwards. There are plenty of days when I bitch and moan before getting on the treadmill and then enjoy it anyway. It’s the same with writing. Sometimes you don’t feel like it, sometimes your head is empty, and sometimes you can’t concentrate. But Patterson is right. You have to force yourself sometimes, only then will you get somewhere.
One thing I like to do (and, again, don’t do often enough) is to sit down and just let my thoughts flow. I know that my brain can come up with all kinds of weird things, but for some reason it gets really shy when it comes to writing. The white page/screen is staring at me, taunting me, mocking me, and my thoughts are trying to hide in a very small corner of my mind. I think the most important thing to remember is that not everything you write is good or worth sharing or pursuing. Sometimes, after a writing session, I stare at the paper and I see a bunch of crap. I grimace and start laughing and then keep the paper for later, in case I need a good laugh (or for a later blog post in which I freely admit that I have an amazing talent to write something really, really bad).
Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of the lessons learned in this class; hopefully, some of you will find it useful and interesting.