Monday, April 12, 2010

Great Writing Advice

When I was a tiny baby, my parents lived up in near Seattle in a neighborhood called Fremont. Their neighbor was writer J.A. Jance. My dad remembers her well and her story of how she blew through everyone’s ideas of who a writer should be and followed her heart.

I decided to write her and ask if she remembered my family and if she had any advice for would-be writers. She wrote back, said she remembered us, and told me her wonderful writing story. Then she gave me some great advice:
Write every day. Listen to your heart. And distance yourself from anyone who steps on your dream.
These are words to live by.

I really believe in my stories, I falter a bit when it comes to my skill but I know skill can be taught, creativity cannot. Though I believe in what I'm doing, I learned quickly that, even the best of people, may unknowingly be discouraging. Whether they find the whole thing silly or are particularly critical, it can damage what little belief you may have in yourself.

As quickly as I learned about these types of people, I learned just a quick to stop discussing writing with them. Instead I have found a few good people in my life who not only want to hear about my writing but are amazing with helping me brainstorm and further my story ideas.

I was thinking tonight about how lucky I am to have someone who believes in my writing more than I do and encourages me every step of the way.

Do you have someone like this in your life? Do you agree with Mrs. Jance’s advice? How can you take her words and use them in your own life?

8 comments:

Amanda Borenstadt said...

I guess I come to the blog world to get advice like that. Thanks for sharing inspiring words of wisdom. :D

Amy Jo Lavin said...

That was an awesome quote! Thanks for sharing! I'm lucky to have a very supportive critique partner, or else I probably would've quit already. :)

J. Kaye said...

Write every day - I am doing that this year.

Listen to your heart - a wee bit more difficult.

And distance yourself from anyone who steps on your dream - YES! Even if I didn't have a family who supported me, that wouldn't stop me.

Kelly said...

Hi, first visit to your blog. I was intrigued with the reference to J.A. Jance since I remember reading a bunch of her books years ago and really enjoying them. Great quote, and I think it's fantastic that you took the initiative to write to her and that she took the time to answer.

Jen said...

I found your blog over from Elana's!!! Glad I did because this is really sweet, I love the kind words to live by and I think it's incredible she still remembered your family and she took the time to write!

I have my wonderful husband who keeps me motivated and in the right direction, he tells me my stories are great and my current WIP is amazing, yes he does give me criticism but only to make me better which I adore! Starting tomorrow I'll have even more support thank you to my fabulous new Crit Group!!!

Liz H. Allen said...

I am so glad you all enjoyed this post. I've found that a lot of writers are really supportive of one another. It was so nice that she wrote back, and even nicer that she was so wonderful.

Just Another Sarah said...

This is great writing advice, indeed--and good inspiration. :) I totally agree with her comment. It's difficult, sometimes--to let worry in. It's nice to see this, to remind ourselves to keep that worry out. Thanks for sharing this.

Liz H. Allen said...

Thanks for reading! I'm glad I could share.

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