Please join me in welcoming freelance and marketing author Jennifer Roland on her Wow Women on Writing Blog Tour for her new book, Ten Takes on Writing.
Lessons Learned From Author Interviews
I love personality and work style tests. I take them whenever offered. So, I know that:
- I’m an INFJ. (Meyers-Briggs)
- My D and my S are higher than my i and my C in my natural style. (DiSC)
- My archetypes are Intellectual, Creative, and Visionary, in that order. (Archetypes.com)
- And Learner is one of my strengths. (Strengths Finder)
When you add that together, it seems to say that I love to learn, and writing is a great way for me to do that because I can research and use my creativity to process that research. And interviewing experts is a great way to research and take advantage of my introverted tendencies.
So Pacific Northwest Writers was the perfect book for me to write. It brought together something I love and want to learn more about (writing) with the opportunity to pick the brains of published/produced writers and share their writing lessons with other writers out there.
Here are some of the top takeaways I got from speaking with these people about their craft.
Try Something Different
Patricia Briggs told me one of the best things a writer could do is take an acting class. Actors learn how to take limited information and create a fully realized character, which is an important skill for a writer.
Actors and writers have slightly different tools in their repertoires to create these fully realized characters, of course, but the basic building blocks are the same.
Be Willing to Give up Control
Greg Rucka writes for graphic novels, which means he creates a story, then gives it to his artist to bring it to life. He told me that he is willing to change words to better fit the graphic narrative when the artist has a different idea — and that the artist often helps create a better story than he originally conceived.
Much as we all love the words we’ve come up with, we need to be willing to give them up when an editor or critique partner tells us something isn’t working. You may find that the edited piece works even better.
Remember that All Writing Benefits Your Craft
For the next two weeks, I have a day job that requires writing. I do freelance writing in my off-hours. That means I spend a lot of time working with words, answering the questions about the best word to use to convey a meaning, how to make what I’m writing more succinct, and what techniques to use to be the most clear I can be. After my tenure at my day job ends, I will likely be spending just as much time on writing, as I work on future installments in the 10 Takes on Writing series, serve writing clients, and make time for fiction.
I know that some writers pursue day jobs outside of writing, to keep their paid work from robbing their creative inspiration, but that isn’t how it plays out for me. As Eric Witchey says in Pacific Northwest Writers, no matter what you’re writing, “It’s still the manipulation of little black squiggles on a white background.”
Thank you Jennifer for sharing these valuable writing tips with us. You show how knowing ourselves is the first step in approaching a satisfying writing career.
Ten Takes on Writing summary: From novelists to poets to playwrights, Jennifer Roland interviews a variety of authors who have one thing in common — they have all chosen to make the Pacific Northwest their home. Covering a diversity of disciplines — from comics, fantasy, and detective novels to long-form poetry and illustrated children’s series — 10 distinguished authors provide unique perspectives about their craft, provide helpful writing advice and tips for success, and share their passion for living and writing in the Pacific Northwest.
About the Author: Jennifer Roland is a freelance and marketing writer with more than 20 years experience in newspaper, magazine, and marketing environments. Jennifer also works as a virtual assistant to writers, helping them build their online presence and connect with readers so they can focus on what they love — writing.
She loves fiction and writes that under the name Jennifer C. Rodland. She hopes to put all of the lessons she learned writing this book into getting more of that published.
Jennifer can be found online at:
How about you? What was the most important writing lesson you learned?
We’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below~
“Writing About Writing: The Process Journal”
August 2015 Newsletter: ” The Fine Art of Doing Nothing” If you are interested in receiving this monthly newsletter with updates, memoir musings and Max moments, please sign-up in the right side bar under the blog sign-up. I’d love to have you!