DIY MFA (Do It Yourself Masters of Fine Arts) is a great writers’ resource center, with tools and tips for doing your best creative work. They host webinars and courses to help you on your way to a successful writing career. Stop in and see what they have for you!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Christopher Moore’s rendition of the life of Christ through the eyes of Biff bin Levi, Christ’s childhood best friend, is witty, thoughtful, and well researched. He managed to touch all the major points of the gospels’ outline of the life of Christ in a hilarious and strong narrative voice. As the daughter of a minister, I was impressed with the attention he showed to the details of the story, while telling it from the unique and brave perspective of Biff.
I laughed out loud more than once.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was NOT my favorite Neil Gaiman book. In fact, this was the first Neil Gaiman book I read, and almost the last. I liked it that little. I found the setting and the characters to be hollow. The naming convention he used for the villains made them more flat than they might have actually been.
I put this book down with a “harumph!” and moved on to other things, determining never to read anything by Neil Gaiman again. Then… after following him on Twitter, and really coming to know more about Neil’s creative life, I decided to give him another try. I picked up American Gods… and since then have fallen in love with Neil and his worlds of fantasy. I still haven’t tried to read Stardust again, and probably won’t. But I find that I can forgive him for that book, since the larger body of work he has produced captivates me so.
The thing is, sometimes we hate our own writing. Sometimes a project starts out with so much potential and then suddenly you find that it’s gone terribly wrong… taken on a mind of its own and traveled to a place that you would never have taken it and that you never intended to go in the first place. That can be exhilarating, or it can be devastating.
At those times you may be tempted to scrap your project altogether… and that’s ok! It’s perfectly reasonable to take a break from your work and stretch your mind doing something else. Just DON’T throw away what you’ve already accomplished. Even if you hate it. Even if you think that you’ll never look at it again.
Put your work in a drawer (literally or figuratively) and give yourself some space… but NEVER give up on what you’ve begun. One day you’ll come back to it… 6 months… 2 years from now… and you’ll have a fresh perspective, a flash of inspiration that will help you to transform your writing into something new. But you can’t do that if you don’t have something to start with.
So get out there, get writing, and see where it goes! Then, if your project takes a turn for the worse, give it some time, some space… come back to it later. You might be surprised at what you find.