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  1. I) Thou shalt finish the ENTIRE draft and let it be the story YOU want to read.

    II) Thou shalt silence thine internal editor while working on the first draft lest you spend days polishing the first page and give up on the whole project.

    III) Thou shalt edit it BEFORE letting people read it.

    IV) If thou are not a grammar nazi, though shalt find one and befriend them (They usually like cookies.)

    V) Thou shalt, in the editing process, strive to remove that which ultimately the reader will skip reading anyway.

    VI) Thou shall only focus on thine own work at the moment neither obsessing on whether or not the work is original nor declaring it to be the first in a series when an agent hasn’t even glimpsed the manuscript.

    VII) Though shalt not forget writing is hard work and a discipline. (Ask any of our breathren who do it for a living.)

    VIII) Thou shalt have a naysmith. One who is qualified to tell you what needs to be changed even when you think they are dead wrong.

    IX) Thou shalt listen to thy naysmith.

    X) Thou shalt remember not to take life so seriously – it isn’t like any of us are going to get out of this alive anyway. (The happy times and the heart breaks all have a place in your work.)
  2. I'm laughing as I write this because I never thought I would be a blogger. Those of you that know me are probably sharing the laugh since you know I have avoided posting any of my own writing. But here I am - needing to get some things out.

    Let me start by saying I have been blessed with a loving wife and beautiful son. These are gifts from God and I truly am grateful for them. I'm also grateful for all of my e-friends (You are a great bunch).

    I think the greatest issue I have is pressure. The decisions for my family are on my shoulders. I know some may say, discuss it with your wife. I do. She's wonderful and wise, but the final decision still comes back to me. We have a very traditional marriage. I bring home a pay check, she is the one that works (Hey taking care of my son is a hell of a lot more work than I do in a day). But the pressure remains.

    There is a for sale sign on the front lawn of the place we rent. The land lord is considering an offer. I have to find a new place for us to live. I look at my son. I look at my wife. They trust me.

    Pressure. If I fail, I've failed them. Pressure. If .... If .... If ..... If .... pressure. My shoulders are getting tired. I believe God has a plan. I know he won't let me down.... but I would be lying if I told you I didn't feel the weight on my shoulders.