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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Writing Tip Wednesday: Writing Advice from Liz Flaherty

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday and Week 2 of the new Writing Advice series! Liz Flaherty, one of my wonderful IRWA friends, is here to offer some great tips on becoming a better writer.

Great to have you here, Liz! Take it away!

I have wracked my brain trying to think of something new or different that you haven’t heard or read before, something that will help make your writing easier, better, shorter or longer, more publishable, more readable, or easier to relate to. I’ve reached the conclusion that there is indeed nothing new under the sun. So let me tinker with the old stuff a little.

My best writing advice is to take a day or a weekend or even a whole week off. Not for vacation, per se, but to do other things. For me, it is sewing—particularly charity sewing. I have friends who knit. Friends who are active in local theatre, who sing in Round Robins on Friday nights, or who cook up a storm.

I suggest this so you will remember that even though you are a writer, that’s not all you are; you are the sum of other experiences and emotions besides the despair and/or euphoria afforded by writing. You have not always made extensive notes about settings when you traveled or tried to figure out how to use the conversation the couple at the next table is having in your next book. Sometimes you have managed to look at another person without thinking that exact hairstyle would look great on your protagonist. Occasionally you have laughed uproariously or cried really hard without thinking what it had to do with your writing career.

Do this again.

In other words, even though they’re not at all new ones, be sure to stop along the writing road and smell the roses. And do it without thinking exactly what color they are, how the sun is striking them, or how you will describe the scent.

And then go back to writing. Refreshed.

About Liz...
Retired from the post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and doing whatever else she wants to. She and Duane live in the old farmhouse in Indiana they moved to in 1977. They’ve talked about moving, but really…30-some years’ worth of stuff? It’s not happening!
She’d love to hear from you at lizkflaherty@gmail.com or please come and see her at:

Website: http://lizflaherty.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lizkflaherty
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizFlaherty1
Blog: http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/

Great advice, Liz! I need to take more time for the other things I enjoy doing. Thanks so much for sharing!

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

17 comments:

  1. great advice, Liz! My RWA chapter calls that 'refilling the well', and it is SO needed!

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    1. It sure is needed, Kristi--and even after a gazillion years of writing, I still forget it! :-)

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  2. Even though I'm not a writer, just a reader, this is good advice if ever I consider becoming a writer. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank writers for your hard work and dedication because the writing process, although likely fulfilling, is apparently hard work. I am grateful because we readers get so much joy from your labor.

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    1. Never say "just" a reader--you're our favorite kind of people! :-) Thanks so much for coming by. It is hard work, but also really fun work, so it's hard to complain.

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  3. Great advice, this year I'm trying for more balance. Maybe because I'm a Libra:) I want to enjoy writing AND sundry other things.

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  4. This is great advice. Getting away from a writing project or even an editing gig can shed a whole new light on things. Thanks, Liz!

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    1. We learned it the hard way, though, didn't we, Nan? :-)

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  5. Wanted you to know I read your goodreads comment and came by to say "Hi" jrs362@hotmail.com

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  6. Well said, Liz. Just because you're a writer doesn't mean you don't need to "get away from it all" from a while. Have a great one!

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  7. Thanks for all the great comments! Now I'm off to see if I can squeeze in a few words this morning. :)

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    1. Thanks for having me, Mellanie. I'm enjoying the visit!

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    2. Great to have you visit, Liz! Thanks for contributing a post to this series. :)

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  8. Love your ideas and writing style, Liz! Google just dropped a longer comment. Sorry to drop in late.

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    1. Thanks, Cathy. It's always good to see you!

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