BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Muse, News and Views

One of the worse things you can say to a writer…

writing competition… is that you can write about anything you like, for as long as you like and it doesn’t matter when you finish. If you haven’t got a hungry publisher demanding the next chapter of your bestseller, competitions are the best way I know of creating your own deadlines.
If you don’t win you still have a story or a poem. You will have written and that’s what writers have to do. The Welsh poet and novelist Catherine Fisher says that her children’s novel Belin’s Hill has its roots in a writing competition run by the Welsh Arts Council many years ago.
“The book was finished and I was proud of it. It came nowhere.”
It was another 15 years before it was published. In the meantime she learned her craft as a writer, published other books, won other prizes and came back to the manuscript of Belin’s Hill understanding what was wrong and how to put it right. Finishing that novel at the start of her career was an education in itself and it also developed another quality that writers need: perseverance.

Read the rest of this article on the The Hysterectomy Association’s website

How do you create deadlines for yourself? Or can you mange without?

photo credit: stevemonty via photopin cc

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9 comments on “One of the worse things you can say to a writer…

  1. Les Bush Poet
    April 21, 2014

    Reblogged this on ldbush21.

  2. Elizabeth Hein
    April 21, 2014

    I absolutely set deadlines for myself. I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t have a deadline, projects never get finished. I set monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals for myself. Having a critique group that expects to see pages from me every few weeks helps keep me on track as well.

    • bridget whelan
      April 21, 2014

      Impressed that you have a range of short and long terms goals. That makes a lot of sense if you’re working on a big project like a novel. Belonging to a group writers that expect you to share work on a regular basis is a powerful motivating force.

  3. Michelle Proulx
    April 21, 2014

    I don’t like to set deadlines for myself, but when I do have them, my production increases tenfold! I think if I was always working to a deadline, I’d get really stressed out and probably lose my love of writing. So I think it’s good that I can free write when I want, and then also work toward deadlines when the situation calls for it.

  4. bridget whelan
    April 21, 2014

    Free writing can be very creativity activity – not everything has to be driven by goals but I think self-imposed deadlines come into their own when you want to work on a project (creating a collection of short stories, for example)

  5. John Jackson
    August 11, 2014

    Isn’t the worst thing you can say to a writer “Yes, but what’s your REAL job?”

  6. Pingback: The clock is ticking….only four days left to enter this international writing competition | BRIDGET WHELAN writer

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