Who Can You Call On?

HA0521 - Bedford staff and M1. A set of images  of HA staff in the Bedford office and new section of M1, north of junction 9. March 2010


Whether you are the newly-elected President of the United States or appointed as a group leader in a college class, you will find out early on that you cannot do it all by yourself. You need the advice of those who have certain areas of expertise.

Just like in your circle of friends you find that one is your main confidant, and another makes you laugh when you feel down, so a writer needs to be surrounded with a group of fellow authors which are especially good at certain aspects of writing.

I have a “go to” list which I have labeled “Details”, “Word Choice/Imagery”, “Backstory,” “Historian”, “Show-Don’t Tell”, and “Encouragement.” When I am stuck, I know exactly who to go to for advice.

They have my back.

And, you need a similar network, too.

These people may be local or accessed by phone or internet. They may be members of your critique group or not. But, they should be trustworthy, honest, possess quality writing skills, and willing to help.

And, don’t forget. They’ll need you, from time to time, too.

Think about those skills you will share with them and what positive impact you will have on the quality of their writing.

There are lots of helpful books on various aspects of writing. Most of us have dozens of them.

However, nothing beats the personal investment one can make in the life of a fellow writer.



Personal Writing Motto

Recently, I’ve read quite a few articles on when, and how often, to write. Authors are giving advice which varies on # of words to write per day, # of days to write per week, and “free”/ “break” days from writing. They give opinions on where to sit while writing, how often to get up and take a walk, optimal lighting, inspiring background music, even which fabrics are the most comfortable.

Nike says “Just Do It”. IMAX offers: “Think Big”. Sony uses the slogan: “Make Believe.” Energizer’s is: “Keeps going and going and going.” Kodak: “Share moments. Share Life.” ; Yellow Pages: “Let your fingers do the walking;” Taco Bell: “Think Outside the Bun;” Pizza Hut: “Make it great;” fitspholic.tumblr.com states: “Turn Intentions to Actions.”

So what advice could I possibly have to offer? I’m glad you asked. This is my personal writing motto: always write what you will be proud to reread some 20+ years from now. Write the truth, without prejudice or malice; write from the heart; write words that honor God.

Keep plugging along. Don’t give up. Push forward. See it through. Move ahead.

Don’t click on “publish” until you are sure: it’s spelled right, it looks right, it sounds right. And when mistakes come (as they inevitably will), extend yourself the grace to forgive your own humanness and imperfections.

Then, get yourself back to the keyboard. It’s a brand new day. See it from a fresh perspective. Write from your soul. Say it with heart.