I haven’t read a book by Judy Blume in ages, but in the course of researching an upcoming writing post, I stumbled upon her website. Actually, ‘stumbled upon’ is not the right phrase because although it seemed like an accidental discovery, I believe it was God’s way of encouraging me.
As I work on my novel, I worry that I’m not doing it the right way, even though I know there is no right or wrong way. Sometimes I wish I had a detailed outline of the entire book instead of a loose sketch of ideas. Sometimes I wonder if there’s any hope for a novel that begins without a solid ending.
Imagine my joy upon reading Judy’s writing tip on style –
I know where I’m starting and where I’m going but I never know what’s going to happen in the middle or if the ending will be what I imagined on the day I began to write. It’s the surprise that makes writing exciting for me.
These two simple sentences made my day. Knowing my writing method is just like Judy Blume’s erases all my anxieties about how I’m writing my novel. Hearing from a writer I’ve admired for years that there is no wrong or right way to approach writing a novel gives me complete assurance in my process.
Here is a list of other tips from Judy:
- Keep a notebook and fill it with ideas for your story – dialogue, descriptions, details, and more details. (I’ve been doing this and I love it!)
- “The best books come from someplace deep inside.”
- Rewriting can be fun.
- Read your work aloud.
- Judy didn’t have an agent until she had already published three books. Her advice on finding an agent is to simply pick a name that appeals to you and send samples of your work.
- Get used to rejection and criticism. Don’t let it discourage you. (Easier said than done right? But surprisingly, the more it happens, the less it hurts.)
After visiting her website, I had a few realizations of my own:
- All authors should have a blog. As a reader I love getting a glimpse into the personal life of a writer I admire. Any tips or thoughts on writing that they share are golden nuggets of wisdom I take to heart. As I said at the beginning of this post, I haven’t read a Judy Blume book in years, but after reading her personal diary of the May 1998 book tour for Summer Sisters, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
- It’s okay to share personal things on a blog. As a reader, personal tidbits help me relate to the writer. The more connected I feel to the writer, the more I’m going to visit the blog.
- Writing a novel takes time. It requires patience, discipline and determination. While I’m short on patience, running keeps me disciplined and determined. I’ve got what it takes to stick with it.
- Writing is not something I ‘want’ to do; it’s something I’m compelled to do.
Do you know of other well-known authors with websites? Do they share tips and thoughts on writing? Share the link in a comment!