Gail Gauthier: You Can’t Get Too Much Advice From Writers
From: Original Content
October 12, 2012 at 08:59PM
Well, you probably can, because if you listen to enough of that stuff, you’ll find that a lot of it conflicts. However, I’m including links to a couple of Top Ten Writing Lists from writers with connections to children’s literature because they both include some interesting thoughts.
Sherman Alexie‘s list included “Don’t have any writing ceremonies. They’re just a way to stop you from writing.” That is probably all too true. Also, he says “Subscribe to as many literary journals as you can afford.” This is not something I ever hear in children’s lit circles. However, I have read in nonchildren’s lit articles that writers should make an attempt to support journals by subscribing to them. And I actually did subscribe to one for a couple of years. What happened, though, is that the two journals I received each year were as hefty as books of short stories. I believe I still have a couple of them on one of my To Be Read shelves. But, still, seeking out a journal you like and supporting it is certainly a good idea.
Margaret Atwood‘s “writerly advice” includes something that is both useful and somewhat profound. “Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.” If I still embroidered, I might try to put that on a pillow.