|Noticing Newbies: January 11, 2017 Issue [#8069]|
This week: Where do you go from here? Edited by: ember_rain
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As a dyslexic writer, I understand how scary it can be to put yourself out there for others to read your work. But, it is something every writer needs to do. Whether you're submitting to a publisher or posting here for the WDC world to see, you have to get over it eventually or die forever in obscurity with your children wondering why Momma/Daddy never did anything with their work.
The purpose of my newsletter is to entertain a bit if I can, but it is also to help you look at writing ideas as a new member you might not have thought of. To address issues every writer faces at some point in time so you know you're not alone. On occasion, I will throw in a WDC technical issue on how to find your way around here or the ML. What I won't do is give you something that bores me. Yes, I know there will be spelling mistakes. I won't use every their, there or they're correctly. I may spell collage when I mean college. But, what you will get are real answers to problems I have conquered and some I'm still struggling just like some of you.
My one and only goal is to help our new members feel like the belong because you do. Different ideas are welcome. Different styles are welcome and yes even if you have in the past spelled cat K A T out loud and thought you were right or struggle to let characters lead and the plot follow, you have a place here on WDC. None of us are perfect. We all struggle and we are all here to help each other in that struggle.
Friends have jokingly suggested that I drank the WDC kool-aide. I will happily agree. I did and I am so glad I did. Here is to all of our new members finding their writing home with us as well.
Quick note: I lost my editor, He's moved three hours away and has very little internet access, all for the love of a girl. So please bear (or is it bare) with me there will be mistakes. I'm doing the best I can. Lucky for us all Firefox now offers a Grammarly app and it works here on WDC.
So we are just a little over a week into the new year and you noticed that you already broke at least one if not several of your New Year's resolutions. I only make one anymore and that is to keep plugging along with my writing. I may never get published in my lifetime, but all of my children have promised me that when I am gone, they will make sure to get the info to the powers that be here on WDC to turn my port into a white case and to clean up my novels and get them published. I can live with that. But, we are talking about you and your resolutions.
For many of you joining this website was the first step on your journey and for others that is where it ended. You want to write but you don't know what to write, or you are scared to put your work out there for fear people won't like it. I understand. I fear the grammar police like nobodies business. Who I really fear are the ones that notice that I am not British but pick up on how many words I spell like I am. You have no idea how many times I have gotten an email, saying, "It's not Spelt in the US. It's spelled."
Yes, I can laugh about it now 6 years in and more comfortable and trusting of the people around me. But, you don't know us; the old regulars that keep this place going, so trusting isn't as easy. I get that. It was never easy for me either. But, there are benefits for taking the leap and sticking to your goal of improving your writing. Let me walk you through the steps that I at least went through when I joined this website.
I have actually been a member three times. Shhh don't tell The StoryMaster . See, the first time I joined was ten years ago. I lasted two weeks. I got one review that said I needed to put a comma at the end of my dialogue before the ". Someone else said no, I had it right the first time. It should have been a period. I just needed to move the He said to the front of the sentence and put a comma after it but before the ".
I am dyslexic folks. The quickest way to run me off was to argue over how I should punctuate or spell something. If you don't know for sure or if someone thinks it should be done a different way, then I get confused and throw up my hands and quit. I was 33 years old, the mother of 6 young kids and I just didn't have the endurance. I couldn't come back under that account when I did because I didn't remember my username nor did I have that email any longer. I blocked out everything but the name of the website.
I came back about three years later because I couldn't find another website remotely as good as this one. I managed to stay a whole two months, win Nanowrimo for the first time and though I still panicked or got ticked when I got a review, I learned to say, "Thank You," gracefully. Then... my father died. I left again. I couldn't be around all the happy people. He was only 55 and I was a very angry person. I don't write anything but hateful, angry poetry, that should never see the light of day, when I feel like that. So, I stopped writing altogether and deleted my account.
It was another two years before I came back for good. By that time I not only had lost my father just a little over a month after winning my first Nano(short for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo) but, I had gone back to win my second and lost my grandmother right after. I mean like three days into December. I was devastated but I at least tried to edit that story before throwing it out in disgust. I realized I couldn't do it without help. Help meant I was going to have to pull up my big girl pants, come back to WDC and learn to listen.
That has been the frustrating and hardest part, learning to listen and not take it personally. My spelling and grammar have improved in leaps and bounds because I am writing and paying attention to reviews. I haven't lost Nano since I won it in 2007, I became a preferred author and then a mod and I have both loved and hated the journey.
Have I ever felt judged as lacking? A time or two but not nearly as often as someone has had a kind word and offered to help without making me feel stupid. I owe all of those people a huge thank you and I think you know who you are.
But, it only happened because I set a goal for myself, was willing to suck in my pride and ego and actually read the long drawn out reviews that felt like I was being ripped apart. Writing is pain. It is also an immense joy. It is every spectrum of human emotion there is. It is your baby. You no more want to see someone tear it apart as you would want to watch a strange toddler bite your toddler. But, by letting your actual child learn how to deal with pain, anger, stress, and human interaction, they become stronger individuals; so too does your writing when you take a deep breath, put it out there for the world. It is time you stopped worrying about what other people think and bite the bullet, get back to work on that novel, short story, poem, whatever your New Year's resolution was about writing (and if your on this site how do you not have one?) Then, put your child in your port and let the bullies of the writing world have at it. Pay attention to the cuts and bruises it comes home with and tend to them knowing your child will be stronger for it.
If you can survive this you can survive anything. That was what my mother said about my bullies. She was right. The difference is that the reviewers here aren't bullies. They are writers just like you, who want you to succeed as much as they want to succeed. In a way, your success is our success and a sign we too can make it in this world. So get out there, write your heart out and remember to post it here for reviews and to do your own reviews.
The quickest way my writing improved was when I was doing reviews. I always end up spotting something that needs to be changed and realizing," Oh wait, I do that too." So take the leap. You made the resolution now stick to it.
Some of our newest members who bit the bullet and now need reviews.
| ||Nowhere (E)|
Just One Point Of View Contest -- January 2017
#2107960 by Someone
| ||Alice part one. (13+)|
An abusive relationship that takes change and depression to an understandable level.
#2107922 by Ginger
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Comments on my last newsletter
Sometimes it's just the idea of my character which is leading me to a good story. For instance, I was telling my dad that I know where I want my character to go and do but suddenly I found her in a new place in my city which for some reason I hadn't thought of before. My fingers were a flurry of motion across my keyboard as they wrote about this underground expanse of a library which could only be accessed through a secret tunnel in the original library, sealed with a specific type of magic. And I thought "there's where the dragons have been putting all the extra knowledge" and "why didn't I think of that before?" But there it all was being written and I couldn't have been more surprised than if I were the reader. Imagine that. - Elfin Dragon - contest hunting
So have you broken your resolution already or are you one of the lucky ones organized enough to remember?
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