Why artists should get out more.

As a writer I know the stereotypes that come with the territory. That writers need to be holed up in some dark room writing until our brains fall out of our heads.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Honestly, if you’re a writer or any other type of artist churning out work for fun or profit, getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to go.

Easier said than done right? True, but let’s take baby steps folks. Finding a job that supports you that you love is the first thing. If the company you work for fosters social events then attend and find others that share your hobbies. Or join a meetup group and find folks there.

Being isolated may lead to more writing time, but not always the best quality writing. The best writing comes from interacting with the world itself, and imbuing your writing with the human condition.

And if you’re able to make a few extra friends and hobbies along the way, more power to you!

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The value of mentoring.

I’ll admit. I went throughout my writing career for years without a guide or mentor. Then through many personal errors, I learned the best way to gain a mentor was to show interest in other people’s work. The trick is not a superficial interest just to gleam information from someone more successful, but to LEARN.

As a writer, one can be considered an artist, so it’s important to find other artists, usually those who’ve been able to elevate their craft. This way you can learn from them and they can point out your mistakes. Last week I had the opportunity to visit a successful author and his wife. Just interacting with them was valuable in itself. They took time out of their schedule to help me see my mistakes so that I can elevate my craft. Not because my writing wasn’t good, but because it has the potential to be much better.

It’s also good to help others who aren’t as developed as you. You might ask why. Well it’s because you get the opportunity to teach them and help them learn from your mistakes. So it win-win for everyone, and you can’t beat that.

 

How to honor your Editor

lilo2

Now that November is here, I figured I’d write a post on editing. Let me tell you, when I first began my publishing odyssey, I knew nothing about editing. Sure, I’d edit my own books, but that was it. I felt that spending money on editing was a waste.

How wrong I was.

Editors and beta-readers are a key component to the writing process. They act as a safety net, and find everything you miss when you self-edit. But finding an editor that is best for you isn’t easy. But it’s a journey worth embarking on. Let me explain.

I went through many editors. Some were mediocre, but most were subpar. Then I finally settled on one. An Irish Lady named Amanda, who lives with a mischievous little African Grey Parrot called Lilo. There were times when we argued, and I felt our working relationship wouldn’t last. Perhaps it was my fault. Who knows? I can be difficult sometimes when it comes to my work. But in the end, Amanda was the one, the best editor a writer could ask for. After all, how many editors end up becoming your friends?

And then there’s Lilo, who could ever forget Lilo? The repetitive little talking birdie who won my heart, and often serves as an example to me not to take myself too seriously.

So, the morale of this story is simple. If you find an editor that just feels right, by all means, grab onto them like dear life. Make sure to value them like a life preserver, because they’ll save your writing, trust me I know.

And if they own a talking birdie, well that just a bonus!