Have you ever caught yourself thinking you could be a better writer? Having a healthy amount of humility in one’s own work is of course, normal. Doing a simple retrospective, or ‘retro’ for short, on your writing projects can help you save time, money and ultimately a lot of self-doubt through your writing career.
Author: Shivani Bhargava - CEO & Founder (Page 2 of 6)
We’ve all seen the general tips, advice and templates for writing a query letter or cover letter to an agent or publisher. But have you actually talked with one about what they specifically look for?
“I began to think vodka was my drink at last. It didn’t taste like anything, but it went straight down into my stomach like a sword swallowers’ sword and made me feel powerful and godlike.”
— Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
There has been some evidence to suggest that famous writers in our past may have imbibed to improve and even spur the fine craft of writing. We all know some famous drunk writers, specifically the white male American authors, who shall remain unnamed (we don’t need your SEO cred, Hemingway!) because surprise surprise, they’re all you read about if you Google ANY variation of ‘famous drunk writers’ listicle. But what about other, less well-known literary drinkers who believed in a stiff drink to cure any sort of writer’s block?
I have a thought, perhaps out of the blue or perhaps in the midst of writing something else, and I give myself permission to pursue it on paper in an uncontrolled way wherever it wants to go-even if it digresses (which it usually does).
– Peter Elbow on “Unfocused Exploring”, Toward a Phenomenology of Freewriting
Perhaps the biggest roadblock to getting back into the writing game is finding dedicated time to actually write. But once you put your foot down, schedule in the time and actually sit down to put words down, the second biggest roadblock is not knowing what to write. I’ve found that guided free-writing really helps.
Looking for the next steps in your project?
Here’s a little of what “writing office hours” looks like at TheRightMargin:
“Okay, what’s the very next thing you need to do?”
Kidding aside, I want to get writing again. Trouble is… I’ve lost my mental context. I don’t even know where to start.”
“What specifically are you trying to write next?”
“I guess my next chapter.”
“Okay, what do you need to do to get there?”
“I don’t know. Well, I guess I need to get my outline straightened out. But I’ve lost track of the plot and what I need in it. So I guess I need to reread things first?”