Friday, December 26, 2014

3 More Secrets Writers Won't Tell You About Themselves

by Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

We writers are a funny bunch.
Writers are a funny bunch, and only other writers really understand some of the idiosyncrasies that plague us. 

To exist in polite society, we try to keep our quirks on the down low, but some of them spill out into our everyday lives. 

Last month I shared four secrets writers won’t tell you about themselves, and today I’ve compiled three more.



Three more secrets writers won’t tell you about themselves
1. We’re late. A lot. Not because we don’t value others’ time or the commitments we’ve made, but because sometimes, in the middle of a perfectly planned day, a great idea for an article, blog post, or book chapter just POPS into our heads. If we don’t capture it, it will be gone forever. Other times we sit down at the keyboard to write for only an hour. When we lift our fingers from the keys, we discover that three have elapsed. These periods of inspiration can completely eclipse our dental appointments, carpool duties, or mother-in-laws’ birthday dinners (Sorry, Mom).

We edit EVERYTHING!
2. We edit everything. The pastor’s sermon. The church bulletin. The discharge papers from the hospital. Even the Bible.

Really?

Really. We determine there are far too many thats in the gospel of John—today’s editors would never stand for it.

As long as we do this silently, we seldom get into trouble, but heaven help us if we slip and point out an error. ‘Tis far far better to keep silent and retain friends than to pull out thy red pen and loseth them.

We sometimes make ourselves cry.
3. We sometimes make ourselves cry—with our own writing. This is usually because, whether we write fiction or non-fiction, we write from our hearts. If we didn’t believe our messages, we wouldn’t be writing them. If we weren’t passionate about our subjects, we’d never choose them. Nineteenth-century columnist “Red” Smith described writing this way: “You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.”

One of my favorite poets, Robert Frost, affirmed that a tender writing heart is appropriate and effective when he said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.”

Mechanics collect past editions of Chilton’s Auto Repair Manual, estheticians have a deep-seated fear of wrinkles, and writers, well, we have our own set of secrets. I’m sure you have a few of your own. If you’d like to share them with this like-minded band of writers, leave a comment below and join the conversation.

What are some of your writer-related secrets? Be sure to share them in the comments section below!

TWEETABLES


Lori Hatcher is the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine and the author of two devotional books. Her second, Hungry for God…Starving for Time, 5-Minute Devotions for Busy Women released this month. A blogger, writing instructor, and women’s ministry speaker, her goal is to help women connect with God in the craziness of life. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God…Starving for Time. Connect with her on Twitter at @LoriHatcher2 or on Facebook - Hungry for God, Starving for Time.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you, Lori, for your truthful and delightful insights. Happy New Year.

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  2. And thanks for stopping by, Marjorie. It's fun to smile at ourselves, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Lori, you sure nailed those. LOL And YES, I've' noticed all those "that"s in the Bible!

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    1. Oh, Ane, I feel so much better knowing I'm not alone! :)

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  4. TOO true! Now I must go find last month's list. Completely missed that.

    Surely I'm not the only writer who has to act out the expressions I put on my characters' faces? It feels ridiculous to do it, and I'm always embarrassed when hubby walks in and catches me at it, but come on...how else am I supposed to know if my hero can actually raise one eyebrow while turning his lips upside down in an exaggerated frown?

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    1. That's an excellent one, Delia. Perhaps I should try my hand at writing romance so if my husband catches me, he'll think I'm winking at HIM. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Another excellent post, Lori. I can definitely relate to all three points. Sometimes when my mental red pen flies into action, it feels like I need to ask God's forgiveness for a critical spirit. :) Guess it comes with the writer/editor's proverbial territory. Blessings and Happy New Year to you and Edie!

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    1. Andrea,
      I wish someone would have told me that once the internal editor is awakened, she never sleeps. Of course, would I have run the other way? Hm. . . maybe!

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  6. Lori: I have edited articles in our local newspaper. I also have edited, for myself, our church newsletter. I just can't keep from doing it.When I was a part of a writing group, we had a saying,"No one understands a writer like another writer".

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    1. 'Tis true, I think editors are born. Education only enhances what's already there. Thanks for chiming in.

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  7. Lori, I've edited my emails, other people's emails, newspaper articles, and even parts of books by best-selling authors. You nailed it. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Mistakes in meeting minutes drive me nuts! If it's a blatant misrepresentation of what actually happened, of course I bring it to light. However, if it's just a typo or a grammatical infraction, I usually just grin and bear it to avoid, as Lori said, losing friends!

    Excellent article. Like Delia, I need to go back and check out the rest of the list.

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  9. This blog is true. Happy to be in the company of other secretive writers. Love the title of your book "Hungry for God, Starving for Time." Clever and makes me want to purchase a copy ... sounds like I should make time for it.

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  10. I have heard writers say they love to sit at Starbuck's, B&N, library or other public venue with their laptop and write. I can't. Small children would be pointing and asking mom why a grown person is sitting there crying their eyes out. When I am writing "I'm not happy if I ain't crying".lol (not necessarily from sadness, the joy, elation, triumph in my stories are just cause for weeping)

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  11. Number 3 resonates with me. (How's that for an impromptu rhyme?) Once I was thinking about my characters while on a 30-minute drive to Bible study. I stopped at a rural intersection, my eyes filled with tears, and looked around. My next thought: Where am I going, and how do I get there?

    Oh, yes, I was totally lost in another world.

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  12. Amen! I can tell if my husband is writing a particularly meaningful scene because I look at him and can see tears in his eyes. :)

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