Monday, January 24, 2011

Putting It Out There

One of the things I love most about blogging is working on my writing skills.  I was fortunate to be taught by a master.  My high school writing teacher took a decent writer and turned her into someone who could write away on any subject without breaking a sweat.  Of course, it helped that I had some innate talent, but as I keep telling my son, writing is about being organized, and shaking things up.  You can't write well and start every sentence with "I," and, if your thoughts are disorganized no one will be able to follow what you're saying.

What's the point of writing something if no one understands it?

I've been struggling for years with my two competing passions; writing and quilting.  I love them both equally but it wasn't until I started my original blog http://www.thecrankyquilter.com/ that I combined the two.  It's been fun playing with words again.  And, when I turn out a post that really sings, it makes me feel great!

Of course, when you write as much as I do, you have those days when nothing sounds right.  Sometimes I'll sit down and knock off two or three posts without stopping.  Other days I sweat and strain over every sentence.  It can get very frustrating!

In one major way, quilting is like writing.  You have to exercise the muscle to be able to do the task well.  If I don't write for a while I have a hard time getting back into my rhythm, and it's the same with quilting.  Once I start tackling a blog post or a piecing project it comes back, but it can be a struggle, mostly to get started.

And, of course, there's another major way these two disciplines are alike, they both involve exposing yourself to praise and ridicule.  (Notice I put "praise" first....wishful thinking!)  

Remember when you had to ready your essay out loud in class?  It was bad enough that you had to stand up and read it out loud, but having to read your own words and thoughts....wow, that's a big "out there"!

So, I'm putting out another challenge to you.  Those of you who wish to can send me contributions for my new blog http://www.quiltlit.com/ to susan@quiltlit.com.  I know it can be scary to put it out there, but I'd love to see what you have to contribute.  I'm looking for book and magazine reviews, and for original fiction with a quilting theme.  The fiction can be in the form of short stories, or I can serialize a longer story on "Fiction Friday."  I can't pay you anything for your work, but I happen to know that I have some readers who might be interested in publishing your work, so it's worth a shot. 

So, send me what you have.  As editor I will have final say on what's published based on content, appropriateness, and writing style.  If I can't accept your contribution I will send it back to you with my comments.   It's usual for professional writers to go through this process so don't be intimidated.  I'm not here to bring anyone down, that's for sure!

I hope to hear from some of you, and in the meantime I will be putting myself "out there" by publishing my own reviews and fiction......so scary!

Write on!

Susan




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