BY NANCY KAY CLARK
A COUPLE of weeks ago, I shared with you how difficult I find it sometimes to keep myself motivated to write that second, third or fourth draft. I asked if anyone in the CL community had felt the same and if they had any advice to offer.
Here’s a snippet of what your peers had to say:
“With a very active mini-Australian Shepherd, instead of fighting off his invitations to play, I write for 45 minutes every hour, then get up and move for 15 minutes. Sometimes we play a game indoors, but many times we go outside for a resounding game of fetch or keep away with the frisbee. I reward myself with a snack as I return to my desk for the next writing session. I’ve discovered that by stepping away, ideas or solutions to issues suddenly pop into my mind, and I return to the work feeling renewed and invigorated.” — Sylvia
“Being cursed with perfectionism, I hate writing rubbish first drafts, so I start as close to a second draft as I can from the outline. Then, when the rejection slip arrives from a major publisher, I look hard at my offering and ask, ‘Can I fix it? Am I writing the right story?’ They are not all worth fixing. Some were probably not worth writing in the first place.” — Michael
“I let my first draft sit on the hard drive and marinate (or ferment if you prefer) for a few days. Of course, nothing changes in the document, but by staying away from the piece and working on other things, the detritus that cluttered my mind as the byproduct of my labour clears away, and I approach the story in question, less as its author and more as its first reader. It is easy then to fix the obvious. After that, the task gets more involved. When it comes to that line-by-line scrutiny, I find it necessary to take breaks. The most valuable activity for this is a walk. It is incredible to me what 40 minutes at a good pace in fresh air and sunlight do to editing skills.” — Steve
Irene Lofthouse writes: “Some of my short stories have been recorded and broadcast by BBC Radio Leeds, a local BBC station. They can be listened to using the links below.
“If that happens“
“Lady Day” 3.19 on time bar
“Green Shoots” 3.43 on time bar