Summer 2012

Dear Guild Members,

The lazy days of Summer.  A time to recharge, refocus, retool.

Some of you have asked for suggestions for advancing your writing during the Guild break.  Here are six of my favorites.

1.  Write something different.  After months of writing and rewriting, we can all become stale, our stories less buoyant.  Take several weeks off and write in an alternative genre – poetry, children’s fantasy, even science fiction.  Let your creative spirits soar, uninhibited, and allow the words to sweep onto the page with the speed of your imagination.  When you return to your project you just may just find an exciting freshness in your writing.

2.  Tone up your writing muscles– enter writing contests or take some classes.  Writer’s Digest offers a variety of courses, as well as a handy article on “The 101 Best Websites for Writers.”  The Digest also has a running list of contests.  By the time the Guild reconvenes in October you will be toned and ready for our fall writing challenges.

3.  Read books on writing from the pros.  Three of my favorites are The Right to Write by Julia Cameron, Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write, and Stephen King’s insightful On Writing.  For you scriptwriters, the always entertaining Blake Snyder serves you up a jewel with Save the Cat!

4.  Why blog?  Who do you tweet?  New Media can be a mystery.  Many of you have expressed interest in how to use the new media tools Denise Welch presented in her June Guild workshop.  Pick a starting place of interest such as Twitter, Facebook, or blogging, order a tutorial text or sign up for one of Writer’s Digest’s courses, and get started!    

5.  Spend time with others who love to write.  Share your joy of writing and learn from others.  Join a critique or special interest group – or start your own.  Some groups meet through the summer.  Dodie Cross at critiquegroupspswg@gmail.comis your contact and support person.

6.  Set your writing course.  It has been wisely stated that if we do not know where we are going any road will take us there.  Are you clear about what you want to accomplish next season in the Guild?  Set some objectives for your writing project for the coming season.  Then consider how you will use the Guild’s services to achieve them and lay out your plan. 

7.  Load up your e-book reader and head to the beach.  Summer is a great time to catch up on the latest offerings from respected writers in your genre.  Doing so can spark inspiration that will refresh your writing, add punch to your story and color to your characters.

No matter what you do - have fun this summer!  See you at the season opener in October.

Jim McFarlin

James D. McFarlin, PSWG President

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