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HELPING OTHERS WITH WRITING

October 24, 2012

Once I used to have the time to help others with their writing. Sadly, that’s no longer the case. At this point in my life, I barely have enough time to edit what I write, maintain this web site and work on my latest novel, let alone help anyone else. All I can do now is dole out what meager advice I can come up with here in these articles.

Case in point is the forum our writer’s group maintains on-line. Members can post their work, open for critiquing from members. If you’re a member of a writer’s group, I strongly suggest you participate in an on-line forum or even start one if one isn’t already available. Our own group’s forum gets a post once in a while. Back in the day, I could go on there, look at what’s up, critique and move on. I never got any hate mail, always a thank you, even if they didn’t agree. Nowadays, I barely have time to check the e-mail messages for any new traffic on the site. I hate that, but can’t do too much about it.

Monday, I was first up to read at our weekly meeting. Afterward, I was able to stay for two more readers before I had to leave. Many times, I don’t get a reading copy and when I listen, I have a hard time, usually drift off, and miss most of the story. I rarely catch anything useful. For that reason, I need a hard copy. This time I had hard copies from both readers.

The second one in particular put me in full-edit mode. I found all kinds of things that I think will really help the writer. I made copious notes on the margins. It reminded me of the good old days when I was editing manuscripts. I’ve certainly done my share. I miss that.

Right now I’d have to be very choosy who I take on, whereas, back then, if someone asked, I’d more than likely say yes on-the-spot. My only goal was to help anyone that asked. My philosophy has always been that we’re all in this together. It still is except now my allotted time for writing has changed.

How has your writing life changed over the years, that’s if you’ve been at this a while? Have you gone through lifestyle changes where you had more time to dedicate to it? Feast to famine and back again? Of course, if you’re new to the passion, you’ll need more experience to be able to say. Take this article as a forewarning!

One day, maybe I’ll be able to dedicate more time to it again and I can take on more editing like I used to. Right now, I’ll have to reserve that for trade or very special circumstances, especially since I do it for free.

Comments, anyone?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2012 4:17 am

    I used to write only novels, but now that I have the blog, I write mostly short stories. A bit odd to go that way, it seems. I’m doing Nano, so I’m looking forward to getting back into noveling. What sort of thing do you usually write?

    • October 27, 2012 1:11 am

      David, besides the articles for my blog, I also write various articles for the other pages on this web site including short autobiographical stories plus my woodworking and astronomy pages. I also compile and edit the Observer’s Challenge for the Las Vegas Astronomical Society. Beyond that, I have 11 novels in the can, two of which are with a publisher, right now on hold. The other 9 I’m editing when I get time, letting sit, or working on the sequel to the fantasy novel, Meleena’s Adventures, Treasure of the Ubrunna that’s with that publisher, Cyberwizard. The sequel is about a third done. Beyond that, if the mood strikes, I’ll whip out an occasional short story. My genres are icky bug, fantasy, science fiction and adventure/thriller. I mustn’t forget non-fiction.

      • October 27, 2012 1:13 am

        David, you’re right. The story doesn’t have to have humor, per se. It should, however, have something to lighten the tone at least, to give the reader a breath, before more darknes and depression. Or, should I say, seriousness?

        Thanks for the feedback!

        Fred

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