Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting Better All the Time

There are times when being a writer can feel a bit like being Sisyphus. No matter how many times you roll that rock up that mountain, there is always another mountain. At least that's what it feels like to me when I'm staring down revisions on an old book I've already revised a dozen times over.

The good news is I'm getting better at this. Every revision brings something new that I've learned as a writer to the manuscript and so every revision is a little better than the last.

The same can also be said of my new projects. Not that each one is better than the last, necessarily (such a subjective question!), but rather that with each new manuscript I bring something new as a writer.

Tomorrow I have a new ebook release. Serengeti Storm is the second in my lion-shifter series and when I sat down to write it, I was simultaneously trying to please those who had loved the first story and bring something new to the table. The newness turned out to be a new understanding I had of writing deeper emotions - the conflicts based in our family lives and long-term lovers. There is a power in those emotions that the love-at-first-sight affairs in most romances can't compete with. I found the act of writing this story helped me grow profoundly as a writer.

Those leaps as a writer can happen when you least expect them. Sometimes it's a class or a book about writing that triggers a shift in your writing. Sometimes it's a critique or a compliment. And sometimes, it's just slogging through another draft, trying to see what you've seen a million times with new eyes, pushing that rock up that mountain one more time.

What has helped you grow the most as a writer?

This week, to celebrate Serengeti Storm's release, I would like to give away a copy of Janet Evanovich's How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author. Just comment on this post by Friday at noon (Pacific) and you are automatically entered to win.


Kate Diamond said...

I think doing National Boards (for my day job) will help me grow as a writer. Why? The process is forcing me to limit the time I spend grading, etc. I have to carve out some time for ME.

And as soon as my portfolio is done, I'm going to reapply that me time to my novel.

Hurry, April 1st... you can't get here fast enough!

Vivi Andrews said...

Hold on, Kate! You can make it to April and then it'll be smooth sailing.

Anonymous said...


Anna Richland said...

Joining RWA's local chapter is the single most important thing for me ... it has given me the nerve and support and motivation to spend time writing and editing, and pushed me to write past the first book and keep going. For me time does seem to be the key to growth as a writer. Also I've learned so much about the business end from RWA, which plays back into the writing end of things, I believe. Not saying I would have been a person who fell for vanity publishing a la Harlequin Horizons, but not sure I wouldn't have spun some wheels there without RWA.