Oct 17, 2011

Writer's Workshop with Mette Ivie Harrison

On Saturday, Mette and her brother-in-law Rick Walton (did you know that?  Am I the only one who didn't know that?) did a writer's workshop at our local library.  There is something so fun about listening to "real" writers, what they are going through now, what they went through to get where they are now, etc. 

There are several things that I learned at the workshop, but I plan to put them in several different places of this blog, mainly so I can label them and access them again in the future.  So today's post, publication.

Comforting:  Rick and Mette both said publishing has to deal with persistence.  Neither could think of a single writer who kept at it that didn't eventually get published.

Disheartening:  In many of these circumstances, that could take up to 5-10 years.

Comforting:  Rick said, "There are things I'm smart enough not to write because it would be miserable for everyone."  This makes me happy because he doesn't feel the necessity to writer "what's hot" right now if he's not interested in it.

Disheartening:  I knew this already, but anything that gets in the way of the story needs to be cut. 

Comforting: Both authors have a "Bits and Pieces" file of the stuff they love that just didn't work in the story, to save for another work.

Disheartening: Neither of them had ever gone back to that bits and pieces folder to put that into something else.  As Rick said, "I believe in self-deception."  Go ahead, tell yourself you'll use it, and maybe you will, but probably not.  Lie to yourself to do it anyway.

Comforting: I got some really good feedback on my story. 

Disheartening: The chapter that I thought was pretty close, is, but still needs some decent tweaking. 

Overall, I left this conference invigorated, feeling happy about the compliments I got from Mette and aware even more of where I need to go. 

What are some things you have learned from your favorite authors?


Anonymous said...

Nice write up, Tasha. I have long since passed the stage where I save cuts. I simply highlight, hit delete and don't look back.

I have more ideas falling out of my head than books with ISBN numbers. I figure I can only write so much in a life time that salvaging things that didn't make the cut will never happen.

Let's pray I'm not making a silly mistake by doing so!

Thanks for the great insights!