Welcome to Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, that time each week when I gather the writing wisdom gained through 15 years as a columnist and share tips that Publisher’s Clearing House has called “A POTENTIAL WINNER!” and what Writer’s Monthly recently heralded as “Writing advice you can’t find anywhere else. And we’re making sure of it…”
But enough accolades!
Let’s be honest. Even a seasoned humor columnist sometimes has an idea that falls flat. And if last week’s NWOW idea had fallen any flatter the aftershocks would have been picked up by seismologists in China. As you might remember, last week I tried something different. Unfortunately, that’s an experience my wife would rather forget. However, you might also remember I tried something different with my Nickel’s Worth by attempting to make it an interactive post similar to a blog hop, with me posting part of a scene and then letting everyone else take a crack at finishing it — then sending me the link.
As of this morning I remain linkless.
And let me point out my being linkless has absolutely nothing to do with the other thing my wife asked me not to talk about.
At any rate, I did learned something important, which is that what may sound fun to one person can make someone else feel uncomfortable or “put on the spot” if it requires their active participation. Again, just to clarify, I’m talking about last week’s blog post and not the other thing, so please try to stay with me people.
It’s our job, as writers, to explore ideas and make attempts to engage our readers in different ways. Does anyone remember the old “Flip” books, where at certain points in the story you are faced with a decision and, depending on your choice, flip to a certain page to continue the action?
If you do, click HERE
If you don’t, HERE
If you feel uncomfortable or too shy to participate, please click HERE
Go ahead — Click one! I’ll wait here…
Welcome back! As I was saying…
Wait — does anyone remember what I was saying?
Yes, you in the back with your hand raised and legs crossed. *sigh* It’s through that door and to the left, just past the soda machine. And please flush.
Hey, I remember now! It’s important for us, as
spouses writers, to try new things find ways to engage our readers, even if it means wearing a lion costume taking a risk and being locked out of the bedroom falling flat on our faces. The same philosophy applies to taking the risk of sending your manuscript, short story, magazine article, speeding ticket explanation, etc., out into the world.
Sometimes the resulting failure is immediate, slamming into your face like a bedroom door flung closed by an unhappy spouse yelling “This isn’t Wild Kingdom!” Other times, failure comes after many weeks, in the form of a rejection letter. In either case, it’s important to remember this:
Without the risk of failure there is no measure of success.
That’s why I don’t regret my NWOW falling flat last week. I learned something important, which is that what makes this weekly NWOW feature “successful” is people coming here for some writing insight and a few laughs. Not homework. Who wants that?
Fine, you in the back corner with your hand raised. But you should know this blog doesn’t count toward any college credits.
Great. Thanks for coming.
As for everyone else, I truly appreciate your continued support and honesty with this feature and the blog in general. I just realized it’s about to hit 5,700 followers in spite of my being linkless.
On another note, if anyone is in the market for a lion costume, feel free to contact me.
You know the link…