One of the most valuable things to any artist is the ability to create. That which keeps us on the page is good and useful; that which does not should be discarded. Sadly, there's a lot of mis-information out there about what does keep one on the page, how one should stay there, and what one should do when there. A lot of this advice is from people who, themselves, aren't anywhere near the page. I'll share with you something I heard from Rena Tarbet, National Sales Director with Mary Kay Cosmetics: Never take advice from anybody you don't want to change places with.
Now that we've established that we want to find folks who are on the page and link up with them, where do we find them? (Does anyone else have the line from the movie Good Morning Vietnam stuck in their heads at this point? "We go up to people and ask them, 'Are *you* the enemy?' And if they say, 'Yes,' we shoot them.") You're already doing part of it by participating in this workshop. You can meet other writers who like to write by going places where people write. Classes can be useful. I have compiled a list of books that I like, but the forum won't let me post the attachment because it's too big. Alternatively, I've posted it to my Google Drive where you're welcome to pop over and take a look; I've set it so you can view it with the link without having to sign in (though if you haven't tried Google Drive, you might check it out; very useful). Bibliography
A couple thoughts on other resources:
If you are interested in ongoing prompt exercises, please let me know. I have a small forum and we are looking to expand our membership, and I'd like to find folks who want to participate and play with getting and staying on the page - professionals or not. Please don't feel like you have to have anything published. This is about writing, not business.
Guard your inner writer. Stay away from harsh critics and those who want to give you the benefit of their opinion. If they have opinions about writing, fine; let them write something. They don't need to abuse other writers and we certainly don't need to volunteer to be their next victim.
If you've been savaged by someone, get help. Tell your friends, find another writer you trust, write about it in your journal. I'm not advocating the tell-all sort of thing on the internet, because that never goes well and can come back to haunt you, but don't suffer in silence. Remember that your pen-friends are only a click away. Band together with them and get on your feet. Living well is the best revenge.
Google is a treasure trove of prompts and places to go for writing challenges. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is full of crazy folks who love to write. Enter "prompts" and "writing prompts" in Google and see what comes up. Find Twitter feeds for writing prompts and post your own with the hashtag #prompt.
Challenge yourself. If you have a blog, why not write a blog post a day for the month of May (which has the added benefit of rhyming)? If you don't have a blog, get started today at Blogger or WordPress. Get yourself a spiral notebook and fill it in a month. Take a picture a day on your phone and write 300 words to go with it.
Whatever you do, keep writing. And on that note, let's do some more prompts, shall we? Check out my next post for today's prompt.