April 10, 2011

The Best List For Writers

Patricia Preston’s Best List for Writers.

Best motto for writers:

It’s only a book.   Your life doesn’t depend on it.  I read this in a writing book ages ago.  When you find yourself getting caught up in all the stress and insecurity that goes with writing, take a step back and know that, if nothing else, you can always write another one.  Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Perfection is not possible.  It’s only a book.  Tape that on your monitor.

Best overall advice for writers:

Write about something you love and something that you are passionate about.  Write a story you would want to read.  Your passion will come through in your work.  Don’t be afraid to take chances.  See motto above.  It’s only a book.  Start it and finish it.

Best Books about Writing:

I love On Writing by Stephen King simply because I related so much to his journey as a writer.   For technique, no one tops Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer.

Best writing tip:

Keep the story moving and the characters in action. If nothing is happening on the page, you need to hit delete and start over.

Best remark about getting published that I ever heard:

It came from Michael Garrett at one of his workshops.  Luck is a major factor in selling.  Being lucky enough to have the right manuscript ready at the right time for the right publisher who is buying. Sounds jaded, I know. But there is truth in it.

Best way to enjoy being a writer:

Besides writing a story you love, make friends with other writers.  My dearest friends are all writers and I don’t know what I would do without them. They are the people who understand and support me. Much more so than non-writing friends or family. So, seek out your local writing groups where you can attend meetings and find new friends who can appreciate your angst. :)

Best ergonomic tools for writers:

Imak wrist pads.  They are made from ergo beads and provide very comfortable support for the wrists.  I bought mine at Staples.

Anti-Glare filters.  They will save your eyes.  Need I say more?

Adjustable Foot Rest.   Another must have.

Mesh Back Rest by Safeco.   Added comfort and support. 

Logitech Soft-Grip Mouse.  Love the design.  Fits the hand perfectly.

Best Music Service for Writers

If you write to music like me, Pandora offers music streaming and personalized stations online. Rhapsody Music Service includes the ability to create play lists so you can make your own soundtracks, which I love.

Best Paper and Pen:

I only use Dr. Grip pens when I’m making notes or outlining.  It is easy on the hand and fingers.  A long time ago, I read that writing on plain paper was much better that lined paper in regard to saving your hands and also lends itself more freely to creativity.  So, I stock on sketch pads when they are on sale.

Best way to get to The End:

Develop a writing schedule that works for you and stick to it.  1 page a day, 7 days a week.   10 pages,  2 days a week.  2 hours every night.  Doesn’t matter how much or how often. All that matters is you maintain it until you reached The End. 

And, now, I have reached The End.  Thank you for stopping by!

Patricia Preston is the author of Almost An Outlaw, published by Carina Press.  Visit her blog at http://www.patricia-preston.blogspot.com/


marybelle said...

My hat is off to all the writers out there in the world.


Karen Michelle Nutt said...


Fantastic advice! I love your book cover for Almost An Outlaw. I'm intrigued and I haven't read the blurb yet. lol

I wish you all the best.

Kathy Otten said...

I love your tip that it's only a book. Write another one. I tend to obsess over things and I recently noticed a mistake in my newest release. Now it's in the back of my mind that everyone will notice and throw the book against the wall. Learning to accept that it will never be perfect is one of those things I need reminders about. Thanks for the reminder.

Clancy said...

I, too, love the "it's only a book" motto. I had an English Professor once say, about literature and writing in general, "We're not curing cancer." Just to keep everyone grounded. It puts things in perspective. Great list.

Renee Vincent said...

Well said, Patricia! Great post! I will be passing this along!

Pat said...

Repeat. It's.Only.A.Book.
I also just used your best tip--deleted 10 pages--they were going nowhere.
Great post!

Jennifer Jakes said...

It's only a book. LOVE that. Taping to monitor now.
Thanks so much :)

Reina said...

Great tips! I need the one about deleting scenes with nothing happening...and it's just a book. :)

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Patricia. Thanks for being my guest today. Great tips.

Stacey Purcell said...

Great list with great words of wisdom! Thanks so much for posting!

Vonnie Davis said...

I loved this post. I'm giving a talk at our local writers' group tomorrow night and am making up index cards with words of widsom on them--many snagged from your post--to pass out at times during my talk. Subliminal messages of a sort. Much luck to you!

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. It's perfect advice for all writers, newbies and older ones.

And yes, "It's only a book."

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

So much good advice. I cannot agree more that writers are the best kind of friends to have. I am blessed with so many authors in my life. I also agree that if you aren't enjoying what you are writing then it's going to come out in your words. I write because I love writing. Getting published is a dream, but if you don't dream big, why dream at all.

Alisha said...

Excellent tips! Thank you so much for this blog! Sometimes I feel like shaking some of my writer friends when they become too serious about a current WIP. Now I know to say, "Hey, it's only a book!" Have a great day! :)

Patricia Preston said...

Hey! I'm home for lunch. I'm glad everyone has enjoyed the tips. I have to remind myself constantly that is it is only a book!

D'Ann said...

Good tips! Thanks for the reminders!

Celia Yeary said...

As authors, we all suffer from the same syndrome...worry, worry, worry. We don't anyone to say our baby is ugly. We want perfection when there is no such thing.
I like the cover and the blurb sounds like a good read. Congratulations on this release! Celia

Denise said...

Great post!

My husband tells me the same thing when I'm obsessing over something in my manuscript and I tell him he doesn't understand. LOL It's nice to see another writer say it.

Thanks for the post. I know I'll come back and reread it often.

E. Ayers said...

Loved your advice. I write what I love to read.
E. Ayers