The Writerly Habit

This blog is about my struggles to get into the habit of writing regularly.

Carolyn See and Charming Notes

Carolyn See

I recently moved and came across a postcard I received from Carolyn See. She wrote, Making a Literary Life. In the book, she recommends that a writer write 1,000 words a day (or two hours of revision) plus write a "charming note" to someone in the field they admire. My first note was to Carolyn, it was just before valentines day so I included a box of See's candy. The postcard I received from her is above. It really made me feel like I belong. Here a noted author took the time to handwrite me a note back. How wonderful! I truly get what she means. Sadly, I didn't send out any other notes. As part of my new years resolution, I plan on changing that.

I made a folder for my daily writing, printed a calendar, and even bought stickers to mark off the days where I complete my writing tasks. I haven't completed one yet, I kind of forgot how to do free-writing and forcing it was pushing me towards writer's block. Anywho, I even made some new postcards on Vista Print. What I'm going to do with this blog is let you know who I am writing and post their responses (if they write me back). I'd also like to post responses other writers who do this get.

A word to the wise on writing authors. Usually, the only address you will be able to find is through their publisher. Use to find the publisher of their latest book and do a search on google for the publisher. I used my address book on my Mac and was able to add a picture and additional information. If you are writing a magazine editor or writer, simply send it care of the the periodical. I wrote Carolyn in January, or thereabouts, and as you can see her response came in June. It takes a lot of time for publishers to forward mail, so don't get discouraged. They get tons of fan mail every day. I would recommend reading Carolyn's book first as she tells you the ins and outs of these notes. Remember to tell them why you admire them and a little bit about yourself. This isn't you pitching an idea, it's you making a contact.

I'd love to hear your results, if you wish to try these charming notes. If you want to email them to me, send a scan of the front and back to mydarkdoor(at)yahoo(dot)com. Images must be pasted into the email, I will not open attachments. I will blank out your address along with the authors so no worries there. If you admire my work and want to send me one, you can send it to Brandi Ballard, 110 Dartmouth Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80911. Please don't use this address to send junk mail. (I'm sort of between locations at the moment and this would just piss off the current occupants). Your postcard might just end up on this site.

Today I'm writing Judy Reeves, author of A Writer's Book of Days, A Creative Writer's Kit, and The Writer's Retreat Kit. I'll keep you posted. :P


+PHc said...

How nice that she wrote you back, and what great projects you are undertaking. I'm not a writer, or trying to be (although writing is a great relief to me) but I admire your spirit, and your work, and your dedication.