Monday, March 7, 2011

write what you know...and what you don't

Once upon a time we had a twitter chat, and someone (or many someones) lamented about writer's block.

I piped up right away and said, "WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW!"

To which Cheryl added, "...and what you DON'T!"

While we both attempted to tweet what we meant by both of these statements, I think our sentiments deserve an entire blog post.

For the past decade I have had high school and college students whine to me, "but I don't know what to write about! Where should I even start?!?"

To which I have always, without a bat of my lashes, responded, "write what you know!"

While it is AWESOME to use your imagination, if you sit down at your laptop to pound out a short piece on the hardships of living in the ghetto, and you have never been out of Walnut Grove? And you do zero research? Your work is going to sound hollow and fake.

If however, you take your Walnut Grove experience and decide to write about fishing in the creek with Paw, your piece will probably have a richer sense of realness to it; it will have layers of showing that you can't do if you don't know that which you are writing about in an intimate way.

On the other hand, sometimes your imagination is the best place for new ideas.

So say you are Ms Walnut Grove and you want to write that realistic piece about the ghetto. Do your research. Find the small details that only someone who is from there would know. Add those to your writing.

Put yourself there as much as you can.

Because when you are IN your writing? Chances are, your readers will be too.


And now for some odds and ends....

We are getting TONS of new writers joining in our prompts/link-ups! In fact, Friday we had over 100 writers link up! Amazing! You ladies (and guys) ROCK!

So just a few reminders for our vets and some suggestions for our newbs:
  1. Please turn word verification OFF on your blog. This helps people comment. You want comments!
  2. Try to always use the same thumbnail for your link ups. It helps people remember you...that way they can find your blog back each time if they love you. And consistency builds loyalty.
  3. Comment, comment, comment! No, we do not expect you to get to every single post, but commenting builds community.
Do you have questions for us? Suggestions? We've been keeping a list, so feel free to mention them in the comments so we can add them to our list...and make a "Your Questions Answered" type post!

Lastly? THANK YOU!

Thank you for making The Red Dress Club what it is today! We are so excited with how this community is going and the exciting journey ahead to make it even BETTER!

And we couldn't be doing it without you!

Yes, it is making us busy. Yes, we wring our hands trying to think of new ways to push you and make this community better. Yes, it is overwhelming.

But it is AWESOME!

Thank you.

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