"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown"
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
My husband-and biggest supporter, has requested that I generate tips and helpful tidbits of information for writers and future writers alike. I felt I was inadequate to render such information since I am a writer/editor who is still in the midst of creating her first novel. However after much, much deliberation, I have concluded that I’ve made enough mistakes and celebrated enough triumphs to offer kind suggestions to anyone who will listen.
Writing Tip #1
Begin With the End in Mind. This phrase is not mine, nor is it specific to writers alone. Author Stephen Covey wrote this mantra in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. When I first started my book I didn’t actually know that I was starting it. That might sound strange but it’s true. I was probably high on some emotion or another and felt writing would be a great way to express what I was feeling. Either that or I had a dream and started writing about it. Either way, I had no idea that what I was doing then would morph into a desire to write a book. To be fair to myself, the only reason I got fired up (if you will) about writing a novel was because I had read one too many books in my favorite genre that were less than satisfying. I heard a quote by famous author Toni Morrison which says “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it”. That quote was life altering for me. Similar to Ms. Morrison, writing is not something I dreamed about doing. When I was a kid, I dreamed of being Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show. No, writing was something that made me feel. Deeply. Differently than a dream because I see it in my minds-eye, but I also have the power to fine tune, shape and share my story.
How do we begin with the end in mind? Well, what are you writing about? Knowing your characters, their personal biography, family history, communities, aspirations, etc. is not the same as knowing what you are writing about. Another way to ask this question is: What is the Theme of your book? Is it unconditional love? Perhaps vengeance, forgiveness, finding joy in unexpected places, igniting your life’s purpose? Whatever your theme is, the sooner you become aware or choose it, the better. Having this weapon in your literary arsenal will assist you invaluably as you navigate through the murky waters of authorship (no pun intended [smile]).
Beginning with the end in mind is a valuable lesson I learned in the process of writing and am daily developing this nugget of wisdom into every aspect of my life. I hope that by sharing this tiny bit of information with you that I can help save you precious time, effort, and drafts!
Until next time…