Paula Hendricks

Author ~:~ Writer ~:~ Book Designer ~:~ Book Producer

Find what works for you

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There is no one right way to write or to create a book or to be published. There are so many choices today. Find the path that’s right for you.

Some books are written from the inside out. The book shapes itself. The book and the characters take over and tell you what is happening. You may not even know what kind of book you are writing until you are deep into it. Trust this process. Trust your instincts. I heard a writer, I think it was Isabelle Allende… anyway, she said her job was just to get out of the way; that the book used her to get written.

Other times, a book may be written from the outside in. You may start with an outline and fill in the sections. This is not a bad way to write a book. As a matter of fact it may be exactly the right way to write a book – I’m doing one now that way. It’s based on my workshops and there is a linear pattern to the process and the outline method seems the easiest way to get the information down.

Listen to what others say, but find what resonates with you and with the particular book you are writing.

Sometimes I write long hand in steno pads. I want to feel the pen move across the paper. I want to use my hands to write. I want to know that the ink flows. The manual act of writing somehow taps into my body in a visceral way. But sometimes I want, even need, to use the computer. Sometimes the computer allows me to short circuit my brain – my fingers can type faster than I can write longhand.

Find what works for you. Try timed writings. Use prompts. Use art work. A friend recently did some collage work with another friend and she used their project to flesh out one of her characters. She found out some stuff about this guy she hadn’t been aware she knew. Almost all the images were black and white. It surprised her. She could now write about him in a deeper way.

Read books and find out what works for others. I love Julia Cameron’s books and Natalie Goldberg’s books. I love to write about writing. I’ll post one of my meditations as a 2nd posting today.

Find writing groups where you can experiment. Find the groups where you feel supported as you experiment. Follow what feels right to you.


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