Don’t Forget to Write…

Posted by Rita Lorraine

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Hi Everybody,
Whew! Finally getting my second wind after a whirlwind Black History month. Still can’t believe I read and posted reviews for 17 wonderful multicultural children’s books.

Which brings me to the subject of this post: DON’T FORGET TO WRITE!

It’s a wonderful time for writers. We can connect with other writers via Twitter, Facebook and listservs. We can find writing books at the speed of a click, take online classes, hold webcam meetings, and otherwise download a host of materials (some of them FREE) that can help us hone our craft to needle-sharp precision.

But in the process of this honing, sharpening and networking; in the process of tweeting and “threading” and sharing information we think other writers can use, we need to remember something very, very important to writers everywhere: We need to remember…to write!

For the last couple of months, I’ve been really “doing it.” As I said, I read 17 books and posted reviews on YA Books Central. I interviewed three writers and posted those interviews on my own site. I downloaded free books for aspiring writers, read those, then read my listserv threads and critiqued ongoing work for my critique buddies.

I applied for an upcoming writer’s conference (and received a scholarship, too–Thank you, Tennessee Mountain Writers!), joined a local Film organization that is offering free screenwriting classes, contacted and conversed with a developmental editor via email, developed a list of prospective agents for representation, shared vital writing opportunities and information with other writers, and lined up seven more books to be read and reviewed for the month of March.

In short, I did (and still am doing) all the things writers do, but I forgot the most important thing. I FORGOT TO WRITE. I didn’t write one single paragraph of new copy in all that time between December and Black History Month. Oh, I did edit some of my own previously written work, but I didn’t create anything new.

I forgot to write. Can you believe it? Bad me, bad, bad, bad!

So I’m passing on my finger-cramping, mind-numbing experience of “being a writer” in the hopes that you won’t fall into the same pattern I did. It’s great being a writer, it really is. And it’s great to “do stuff writers do.” But after all is said and done, a writer is supposed to pick up a pen, sit her butt down, and write, write, write.

So my tip for you today is, as you do what you must to hone your skills, network, find representation, create a web presence and make friends in the writing world, keep your eyes on the prize: Don’t forget to write.

Best wishes and happy writing,

Rita Lorraine

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