"Believe in Yourself and Be Persistent," Writing Tips from IWC Instructor Tracy Line
Tracy Line teaches several classes for the IWC, including Beginning Writers Boot Camp, Memoir 101, and Faith Writing. Her next class is an online class meant to get your butt in the chair and help you meet your weekly writing goals, Winter Warriors Online Writing Club.
We asked Tracy a few questions about her own writing.
What was the greatest piece of advice you ever got about writing?
Believe in yourself and be persistent. Lots of people write books, few people finish them.
Why do you write?
I write because it brings me joy. Writing feels like a part of who I am. It is the one activity I can lose myself in. When I write, I lose all track of time.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently revising a memoir I’ve written on the experience of being a caregiver for my father, who has Parkinson’s disease and dementia. It is emotionally packed so it is taking me a long time to complete. I am also working on writing and submitting some personal essays.
Favorite books or essays about the craft of writing?
There are so many good ones. I especially liked Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, On Writing by Stephen King, Writing About Your Life by William Zinnsser and Still Writing by Dani Shapiro.
What’s your favorite book, or the best book you’ve read recently? What do you love about it?
I read both fiction and nonfiction and can never pick a favorite book because I like many books for different reasons. A recent favorite was Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. It was such a compelling and shocking story and kept me engaged. I also enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The main character is a bit odd, but by the end of the story, I found her to be very lovable.
Why do you like teaching at IWC? What do you look forward to about it?
I love meeting other writers, and sharing what I know about writing. I’ve met so many amazing people and have kept in touch with many who’ve taken my classes. What a gift it is to connect with people who love the written word as much as you do.
What advice would you give your beginning writer self?
Quit worrying about the rules or how it all works, and just write. Thinking ahead to the business of writing and publishing can be detrimental to the creative process. The best writing comes when you are in a playful and relaxed state. So write first, have fun and worry about the details later. Also, read as much as you can. Reading helps you become a better writer.
Tracy Line has written columns and feature articles on faith, family, travel and life for nearly two decades. Her work has been published in over 75 magazines, newspapers, websites and books. A graduate of Hanover College, Line is the author of Chasing God, Finding Faith from the Outside In (Hawthorne Publishing, 2015). She is currently working on her second book, and blogs about life and faith at www.tracyline.com. Outside of writing, Line also enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family.
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