Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Track Record

A track record is important to both free-lance editors and writers, playwrights included. A track record helps editors get editing jobs and writers get grants and publication. As a writer, with a couple of publication credits online and in print, my track record is insignificant; however, as a playwright, with a long list of recognition, grants and awards, my track record is quite impressive. My first short play that I wrote while attending graduate school was awarded a finalist along with my professor's. My first full-length play, thanks to the help of Dr. Williams and Dr. Gianakaris, it was also a finalist of a prestigious national playwriting competition. Ever since, I've received recognition, staged readings, and productions of my plays and won grants.

With a knee injury and the loss of income, I searched for emergency funds for writers only to find I wasn't qualified for being a writer. However, as a playwright, my artist's resume showed almost every other year I accomplished something, such as being a finalist; I was awarded a grant from the Dramatists Guild. If I hadn't built my credits, I wouldn't have been qualified.

Now I'm working hard to build my track record as a writer. Brick by brick, shovel by shovel, I'm building.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Objective Eyes

We writers all know we need someone to read our work to give us some feedback. Even Steven King would let his wife read his ms and give him constructive criticism. How many writers are that lucky to get their spouses' help? I don't know how many and I'm not one of them. Most of the time, I'll show Wes my writing after I finish it. He is a superb reader, no doubt about that; however, he doesn't know how to give useful feedback. Every time after he reads my writing, he'll say, "It's very good." That doesn't help, does it?

It's hard to see what's there and what's not there but should be there in our own writings because everything is in our heads and we automatically think everything is there. It happens because we can't it objectively. Finally, I developed my own pair of objective eyes, not 100% objective, though. It takes lots of writing, rewriting, and reading, and of course time to get myself that pair of eyes. Nothing comes easy. It takes practice. And, with the objective eyes, I'll be benefited for the rest of my writer's life. Try it. You'll enjoy the extra pair of eyes you've acquired.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Writer's Eyes

In a non-writer's eyes, what comes to mind when she sees an egg? Scrambled. Poached. Or sunny-side-up. In a writer's eyes, however, an egg can become a symbol, a metaphor, a simile, or a motif in a play, a short story, a novel, or a poem. That's what I mean "a writer's eyes."

From my own experience, a writer's eyes differ from what she writes. For years, I've had a playwright's eyes because I worked on nothing else but plays. Since I explored literary writing, I've had a poet's eyes, a fiction writer's eyes, a creative nonfiction writer's eyes. And I've found that although the kinds of writing mentioned above belong to literary writing, a poet's eyes differ from a fiction writer's, and so on. And writing haiku gives me another pair of writer's eyes. You have to write different genres to see what I mean.

In summary, I think the more eyes a writer has the better.