Should we stand there, chewing our cud, our warm eyes staring off a bit vacantly, content to stand there in the middle of the field? Or should we wonder what is in the next pasture? Should we swallow what?s in our mouth?it?s been savored, it was delicious but now it?s chewed up and merely mush?and look for something else to grasp in our teeth?
If our writing ?field? is our area of expertise, our comfort zone, it?s dangerous (to our health as a writer) to remain rooted in the same meadow forever.
Don't be content to be content.
If you are a fiction writer, foray out and see if indeed truth is stranger than fiction. Try your hand at creative nonfiction. Chicken Soup is always looking for slice-of-life stories. Publishing Syndicate has dozens of anthologies they?re developing. They are two different markets and the tones of the books are different as well. Do your research and check out a book from each publisher; you could even take the same real life story, write two versions (one sweet and one snarky and edgy) and submit them to both of the publishers.
If you have avoided fiction like the black plague, dip your toes into it. Write a flash fiction piece. Try a short story and immerse yourself in a made-up character. When November comes dragging itself along, try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). You may not get to the finish line of 50,000 words when midnight chimes on November 30, but you may have a beginning of a novel?and it may ignite a fire inside of you to finish it.
You?re in a writing critique group and it?s working well? You meet every week, every two weeks, once a month? You?re getting helpful feedback? Participate in an online critique group. Go to a venue where they?re doing read-alouds. Join a different writing guild group within your city and see how they can help you improve your craft.
If you?ve never gone on a writing retreat, do it. Even if you don?t know any of the other participants, it can be a chance to grow as writer. Or better yet, plan a retreat with a circle of writing friends. It could be at a plush retreat center, it could be held at a friend?s weekend home. One day or a weekend or (dare I say it? I?m drooling already) even longer?
You may have many notches on your publishing belt. You may have earned some notoriety as a writer these days. But there?s always tomorrow?and there?s always different markets and genres to explore.
So mooove into a style of writing that?s new to you. Nibble a little. You might find you relish it.
Sioux Roslawski is a third grade teacher, a dog rescuer for Love a Golden Rescue, and a freelance writer. She has been published in various anthologies, is one of the founding members of the infamous WWWP writing critique group (Wild Women Wielding Pens) and her weekly writing can be found at http://siouxspage.blogspot.com/.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!
Labels: Friday Speak Out, Sioux Roslawski, writer inspiration