Trust Your Writer’s Instincts

17 Apr

003And a very happy Thursday to you all!

Guess what I’m doing…go ahead, take a guess.  That’s right, I’m working on corrections made by my editor.  I know this is going to sound egotistical, but I think you know me well enough to know I don’t mean it that way….but I’m amazed by the number of grammatical mistakes I made.  I think the years are finally taking their toll on this old man.

I was reading through the manuscript yesterday for the umpteenth time and found some new mistakes regarding consistency in the story.  In one chapter I had the main character with a leg wound and in another chapter it was a shoulder wound.  How many times do I need to read this before all the mistakes are caught and corrected?

And that is my message again for all of you.  If you are going to be your own editor then I wish you luck because you will need it.  Writers cannot be their own editors. It is a kiss of death.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about today.  Let’s start with a quote and then I’ll finally get to my point.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.

Steve Jobs
I love this quote and I so get it!  I have had people ask me where ideas come from and I honestly can’t answer. They just pop into my head. Sometimes they are the result of a prompt of some sort, but more often than not they are just random thoughts that appear.  Let me give you an example.

I had started a novel about six months ago, but that novel was put on the back burner while I worked on “Resurrecting Tobias.”  Anyway, this other novel is about a stone-cold killer named Eli Baker and I had written something like 10,000 words on it before giving it a rest for six months.  Last night I was reading a book before going to bed, and it dawned on me that my approach to Eli Baker was all wrong, so I got up and erased 9,000 words of the novel.  I just knew, in some unknown way, that my initial approach was wrong, and then the right storyline came to me in an instant.  Now I am so excited to start writing again on that novel.

So don’t knock creativity, and don’t ignore that little voice inside of you that knows better than you do which direction to take.

I don’t know about all of you, but I love being a writer.

PROMPT OF THE DAY

odds and ends in Feb 2012 015

Hopefully this prompt will kickstart your creative juices.

THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY

Sorry, but I have to get back to editing.  I hope you find what you are looking for today, and I hope you trust your inner creative voice enough to follow it.

Bill

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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26 Responses to “Trust Your Writer’s Instincts”

  1. Janine Huldie April 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Love that quote by Steve jobs too and speak volumes about creativity. Hoping you are having a good day so far and trust me as far as editing I would never even think of being my own editor, so couldn’t agree more with you on this.

    • Billybuc April 17, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Thanks again Janine. Honestly, I was amazed by the number of mistakes I had made….oh well, at least I was smart enough to hire an editor. 🙂 Have a great day my friend.

  2. Mari April 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Writing to just write is all I ever want to do. Thanks, Bill!

    • Billybuc April 17, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      And I love that about you, Mari! Thank you!

  3. RealHousewifeSL April 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    I had to laugh about the grammatical errors part…Dave read my blog the other day and called me to tell me I’d spelled TON wrong…and he corrected me regarding our daughters attendance percentage…can I say what a guy?! Lol. Maybe the more information we take in confuses what’s already up there?

    I just can’t wait for your book to be finished and the new one sounds great too! WTG Bill!

    • Billybuc April 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Okay, Kelly, you have me laughing out loud again. Ton???? Oh my God that’s funny….and I can relate for sure.

      Thank you about the book. I hope you like it…I feel good about it.

  4. marlenebertrand April 17, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

    I absolutely love the quote that you shared today. Keeping my comment short so you can get back to work on your novel :).

    • Billybuc April 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      LOL….thank you, Marlene…very thoughtful of you. Have a great day my friend.

  5. Shauna L Bowling April 17, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    Bill, this post brings to mind a video Maria sent me the other day. It was a 19-minute “talk” with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray Love. In this talk (given to a live audience) she discusses the fear of having her best work behind her at the tender age of 40. After all, she thought, how could she ever top her first success? People are going to scrutinize anything new she comes up with.

    Then she gave us a history of how creatives operated in ancient times. She said that it was thought that the result of the creative artist came from a “genius” or spirit that resides outside the person and merely helps them along with their craft. In other words, the writer or artist is merely a member of the creative partnership who “shows up for work”. It was very enlightening and has me looking at writing from a different light. She says when she gets hung up in her writing she calls out to her creative “genius” and says, “okay, I showed up for work. Where are you?”

    It’s well worth a watch. Here’s the link if you’re interested:

    • Billybuc April 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

      I will watch it, Sha, and thank you! I’m looking for my genius right now. I seem to have misplaced it. LOL

  6. klsilver April 17, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    LOL…i told ya you’d never ever be completely happy. I’ve heard that the greatest classics still have errors in them! You go, old man – you’re amazing!

    • Billybuc April 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

      Watch out who you’re calling old man. LOL Thanks Sis!

  7. Clear-eyed Sky April 17, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    You deleted 9,000 words?! Way to kill your darlings, my friend. You’re a writer’s hero. 😀

    • Billybuc April 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      LOL….it is a bit extreme but oh well. I’ve got another 9,000 where they came from.

  8. Lea Tartanian April 18, 2014 at 2:06 am #

    Hi Bill, I totally agree with you about not editing your own work. I think I told you I proofread my sister’s manuscript, and found a lot of errors. She rewrote it SEVERAL times. When I was reading your material, I was fully concentrating on the content, as you suggested, but I could not help but notice how ‘flawless’ it appeared to be, and saw only the very few errors I mentioned…just goes to show how people can miss stuff.

    You will find that all of this work and time will be well worth it in the end. Regardless of the frustrations involved, I can see that you ARE enjoying the journey which is the most important part! I keep forgetting to ask you if you are self-publishing this book or taking it to a traditional publisher?

    In any event I can’t wait to see the finished product. Blessings, Sparklea/Lea PS: During my morning walk I started thinking about your character, Maria…and Tobias and the way he behaved. In retrospection (hope that’s the right word), being a female, I think Maria was
    almost TOO nice and TOO patient…I guess I was comparing her with me…I guess I would not had the tolerance.

    • Billybuc April 18, 2014 at 2:08 am #

      Thank you Lea! To answer your question, I will publish it as an ebook first and then seek a traditional publisher for the hard copy. We shall see what we shall see.

      Thank you for your reflections about Maria. She is giving me trouble and I have to get to know her better before I feel totally good about the book.

      Have a wonderful Easter weekend my friend.

      bill

      • Lea Tartanian April 18, 2014 at 10:34 am #

        Good Morning Bill…yes, I did know you were doing an e-book first I just could not recall if you were going to self publish or seek a traditional publisher. I KNOW this will happen. I definitely want a hard cover … I think the e book will do great – I see a lot of people with nooks at Barnes & Noble. I understand about Maria…she is a challenge, but I know you will manage her! God bless, and I hope you, Bev and the family have a wonderful Easter too. Lea T. 🙂

      • Billybuc April 18, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

        Thank you again, Lea, and yes, one way or another, there will be a hard copy of this book. I want it on my bookshelf. LOL

        blessings dear friend

        bill

  9. Audrey Howitt April 19, 2014 at 1:50 am #

    I love writing and hate editing–it sucks in terms of getting stuff done and ready for publication!

    • Billybuc April 19, 2014 at 1:58 am #

      It really does, Audrey, but I’m finally willing to admit it is the best thing for me. LOL Seems I’m not quite as perfect as I once thought. 🙂

  10. Ruchira Khanna April 21, 2014 at 2:07 am #

    I am with ya on this, Bill
    Editing sucks and actually, my novel had to undergo many edits too until my eyes got shrunk into the skull and then finally had to give it for editing to a person.

    good luck with your book too 🙂

    • Billybuc April 21, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

      Thank you Ruchira! Oh, if it were only easy, eh?

  11. Michael Milec April 22, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    Good evening Bill.
    No way, years aren’t taking their toll on “this old man.” 1)-you are not an old man;2)- you told me of constant ongoing changes in English language ( grammar ?). Yeah. “Creativity is above an ego when we let it…”
    Good night my friend. Be blessed.

    • Billybuc April 22, 2014 at 2:27 am #

      Michael my friend, it is always good to hear from you. You are correct of course. Thank you!

      blessings from the Pacific Northwest

      bill

  12. Melanie Chisnall April 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    I love it when that happens! I can be thinking about something for WEEKS and then in a single moment the ‘right’ thing just “pops” into my head… just like that. I can hear how passionate you are about writing and it’s awesome to see. Very inspiring. 🙂 I love that quote by Steve Jobs as well… he’s a man of many wise words. Have a brilliant day my friend.

    • Billybuc April 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      Bev couldn’t believe I had erased all that work, Mel, but then I explained why I did it and then she had some great suggestions on where to go with the new direction. It was a really cool discussion.

      Thank you my dear, and I hope your day is brilliant as well.

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