Saturday, February 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?

7 comments:

  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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!

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

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