Thursday, November 04, 2010

WWTBAM?

By Paula Matter

Remember this?
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Writing / revising is a lot like the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire television show.  (Stay with me, it might make sense after a bit). Writing is a solitary endeavor but there comes a time when other people are needed. Thankfully (Aha! I used this month’s theme!), I have many people who I go to for help. My lifelines, if you will. (I’m going to have to look that up later: If you will. If you will what?)
When I’m writing and get stuck, I have options. I can keep writing with a 50/50 chance I’ll get it right.

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I can ask the audience (critique partners, other writerly types).

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Or I can phone a friend. Fortunately for my friends I shuffle them around, so I’m not bugging the same ones constantly.

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So far, none of the above, thankfully (!) has happened to me.
When looking up videos for this blog post, I learned there are more lifelines than there used to be. I didn’t spend time looking at the newer episodes, but maybe someone out there knows what they are and can share.
Apparently, the Phone A Friend lifeline has been dropped. I couldn’t imagine omitting that from my life.
Just for fun, I share this next clip.

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May we all have the confidence and success of this man:

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How about you? Who or what are your lifelines? Even if you’re not a writer, go ahead and share. We at Working Stiffs want to get to know our readers better!

6 comments:

Martha Reed said...

Hi, Paula. Great post. I have lots of lifelines.

Some are friends who have been with me since I first started (and are still willing to listen to me!), some of my co-workers keep asking how it's going because it seems weird to them that anyone actually writes books; and of course, my independent editor is proving to be an invaluable second pair of eyes and ears whenever I need to bounce a new idea off someone!

Annette said...

Paula, I love that last clip of the guy who won. I've seen it before, but I still love the guy for calling his dad on national TV so he could share that moment.

Paula, you are definitely one of my my lifelines. Joyce is another. I have to include my friend Jessi because I've been emailing her questions a lot the last few days.

Thankfully (there's the theme again!), I have a lot of lifelines for all different questions. And I don't just mean writing.

Joyce Tremel said...

Fun post!

I wouldn't survive without my lifelines. Writing is such a solitary endeavor. We really need others to tell us if we're on the right track with what we're writing. Or if it sucks.

A few of my lifelines are Annette, Sandy Stephen, and former Working Stiff Kristine Coblitz (who just had Baby #2!).

Ramona said...

Paula, what a good concept.

#1 is my walking partner, who is not a writer, but patiently allows me to bounce off ideas while we trudge our 3 mile course. Her responses are as a reader, so her perspective is invaluable. Plus, she is a wonderful and patient friend. I owe her many cookies.

#2 is a friend who has been tough-loving me with business advice. It's like pep talks, from a Marine.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Long walks.

I work more things out in my head by reading my last section then taking a long brisk walk.

Gina said...

I work out a lot walking, too. It also helps to know a former cop and lots of lawyers.