Friday, October 17, 2014

Writing: It All Counts

Some writers think only book-length work is valid. Others are content to engage in writing meditations, short stories, contributions to collections, novellas, and other forms of writing. Before getting my first contract for a novel, I had a number of meditations and articles published, and I think the experience I gained was invaluable. I still recall the advice I got when I first started writing: It doesn't matter if it's an online post or a grocery list. Flex your writing muscles regularly.

I've been working on a book--it will be my tenth published novel when it's released in the spring of 2016--but I've also been writing what will probably be a novella, one that takes up the story and characters from a previously published book. I've found it to be easier than I thought, keeping up with two stories at once. And if I get stuck on one, I simply shift to the other for a bit. Then there's this little voice that keeps reminding me it's time for me to produce some meditations and submit them.

Writers, do you confine your writing to one type of material or try several? Readers, do you think it's important that a writer be versatile? I'd like to hear your opinion.

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4 comments:

Patricia Bradley said...

Unless it's edits on another book, I stick to the one I'm working on until it's done. I don't seem to get anything written on either story when I try to switch back and forth.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia, I held that view for several years. Then, because of some future plans, I decided to try my hand at writing something like a novella, following characters from a prior novel, as well as continuing to write my work-in-progress. Actually, it's gone pretty well--when my ideas dry up for one, I just switch to the other, read the preceding scenes to get into that mode, and start writing.
As for other pieces, I sort of got my start writing with meditations and magazine articles before my non-fiction book was published. As I said in the title, it all counts.
Thanks for stopping by.

Linda Glaz said...

I work on a few things at once. It's easier to go back to it after a bit.

Richard Mabry said...

Linda, I have to admit that, although men are not normally good at multi-tasking, I'm finding that having a couple of writing projects going at once isn't bad at all. Thanks for your comment.