Feb 4, 2012

Writing Opens New Doors

by Cindy R. Williams

Several years ago, I enrolled in a Parks and Rec's Creative Writing course. I learned tons about writing and how to get stories out of the brain and onto the computer screen. I learned what a protagonist was. I learned what an antagonist was. I learned about rising and falling action, hooks, dialog, genres, 1st and third person, narrative, visceral emotions, how to show a story instead of tell a story.  All good things to add to my writing skills.

I also learned some hard lessons. I learned that not everyone likes my style of writing, but that's okay. I learned, "Writers Beware" because all publishers are not honest. I learned that I must have real passion for the story, or it isn't worth taking two years of my life to write and edit. I learned writing is often lonely. I learned that sitting for hours a day writing makes my clothes fit tighter.

I also learned that with my new writing skills, new doors will open. Now I get paid here and there as I wait for my "Big Break".  Pennies per word for articles I write in an AZ newspaper add up. Last week I was paid $50 for a four-paragraph wedding story of how they met and the proposal. Not bad for an hours work. It would be nice to have 20 wedding stories a week at that wage. In the meantime, I'll keep the doors open for new writing opportunities as I continue to send out queries and wait and wait and wait and wait for my novels to hit the big time.

What doors has writing opened for you?


  1. Great post! I have been wondering if enrolloing in the local Parks and Rec writing class would be worth it.

    I think I may try it.

    I have found that I have become an essay editor for high school and college students more than anything.

  2. One of my early successful endeavors in learning how to write better occurred because of a great class in writing fiction hosted by, you guessed it, a Parks and Recreation program. I might not have come across it if I hadn't enrolled my sons in a gymnastics class and picked up literature about forthcoming classes. The teacher was on his way to becoming a renowned book doctor, so I really lucked out! I keep and treasure the notes he made on my assignments, and a further review that I was able to purchase from him was invaluable in helping me learn to structure my work better. The class lasted for six weeks and cost a pittance. It was the best fourteen bucks I ever spent on my writing career.

  3. Go for it Leesa!

    Interesting Marsha. I think many Parks & Rec teachers are super qualified. Plus, it keeps you reaching writing goals each week.

  4. I know that my writing for a trade publication taught me more than I learned in a writing class. Not to put writing classes down, but the practical experience was eye opening.

  5. Those are some pretty cool doors that have opened for you! I haven't been paid for my writing yet, but I was just thinking earlier tonight that some very unexpected doors have opened for me. In about an hour, I'll be interviewing one of my favorite musicians for a new music blog a friend and I are putting together. And I've been asked to moderate a panel of the attending bands at an upcoming con. I'm actually pretty terrified at the idea, but it's one of those opportunities I'd always regret if I said no. My friend asked me to be involved with her in these endeavors because she likes my blog. Never in a million years did I expect my writing would present these kinds of chances!

  6. I going to do it! I found a class and here I go.


Thank you for visiting. Feel free to comment on our blogger's posts.*

*We do not allow commercial links, however. If that's not clear, we mean "don't spam us with a link to your totally unrelated-to-writing site." We delete those comments.