Welcome to week thirty-five of the #WritersQuick5 series - where we learn about writing from fellow writers.
Today is my joy to bring you insights from one of my best friends on the planet, the incomparable Sara Russell. Sara is a storyteller, a podcaster, and a social media expert, all of which is interwoven into her own personal sales business via Arbonne.
Sara tells her stories in live performances, through her online posts, and most recently through a new podcast called ‘Sarakeet: In My Car’. She also writes trainings for sales and small business consultants.
I can tell you from personal experience, Sara weaves her life into a tapestry of meaningful lessons and she gives great advice. She is also an avid reader and has given me many amazing book recommendations over the years. She is a renaissance woman.
Let’s see what Sara has to say…
Question #1 - Where do you write and why do you write there?
I write from home. I like to write early in the morning whenever possible. I need quiet to hear my own thoughts. I start early before the day distracts me, before I need to tend to a child or a dog. Often times, I have moved my laptop to the dining room table. The sun coming through the front windows of my house lets me know how much time I have left.
Question #2 - What is unique about writing for your particular genre?
Personal stories walk a line between self-indulgent and entertaining or helpful to others. While writing can be healing personally, those of us who share our stories with others always have to check that there is some insight or, at least, entertainment value for others as well.
Question #3 - What are some of your grammar or punctuation pet peeves?
As a performer, I tend to read aloud. I don't notice grammar and punctuation errors like some writers. I do get irritated when the same word is used over and over throughout someone's work, though. There are a lot of great words. Get a thesaurus.
Question #4 - At what point in your writing process do you start to bring other people in to review your work?
I am a big reviser. I write a whole lot of junk and then pick over words and sentences many times. By the time I let someone else read what I've written, I feel pretty solid about where the piece is going. I ask for help when I'm not sure how to end a piece and have a couple writer-friends who always make good suggestions.
Question #5 - What advice would you give to a new writer about the writing process?
Get started. Write what you know. Write what you remember. Then, cut your first draft in half. That's the part the rest of the world needs to hear.
Thank you Sara for these incredible answers. It’s always good advice for people to write what you know. Even if they are in a world of science fiction, what the characters are going through has to be rooted in the familiar. And it cannot be said often enough: I’m glad that I know YOU.
Please be sure to check out Sara’s website for more information on her stories, performances, and her sales. Also be sure to subscribe to her new podcast via Apple Podcasts or on Sound Cloud.
You can also follow Sara on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
If you would like to be featured as a writer in the #WritersQuick5 series, please just reach out and let me know. I’d love to promote your work as well!
For updates on #WritersQuick5 and other info from me, please follow me on Twitter or check back with this blog for all the latest.
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