S2/E22: Starting to Write with Louise Tondeur
Updated: Aug 1
Hello! Welcome to Season 2 Episode 22 of The Rookie Writer Show. I’m Robin Knabel, and I will be your host today. You can find me on Twitter @LaConteuse and on Instagram as Robin Knabel.
I want to dedicate today’s review to all the new writers out there who are listening. A lot of the time, podcasts, or videos that discuss writing are talking about submissions, queries, getting an agent, or polishing the manuscript you’ve been working on for the past few months or longer. Today’s review will focus on the basics.
I’m going to tell you about Starting to Write, a free class offered by Louise Tondeur on Udemy for beginning writers. Her focus is to get a new writer started with the basics, though there are a few helpful reminders and tidbits in there for seasoned writers or writers who have gone astray who are in need of regaining some focus and getting back to their craft. The entire course is only an hour-long, and it is broken up into eight sections. Louise does a great job of giving a detailed synopsis at the end of each section as well as instructions if needed for the activities she suggests. She is extremely engaging and likable, and if I were a new writer, she would be an excellent first teacher.
Louise Tondeur has published two novels and has been teaching for 25 years. She offers six classes on Udemy, two of which are free of charge. She also has published a book on time management, a short story collection, and several writing guides. If you enroll in Starting to write, you will be eligible to receive two of Louise’s e-book writing guides free of charge. This class is a total win for new writers. She has a variety of resource pages to pull up and a variety of exercises to get you started, as well.
I’d also like to admit something – one of my favorite parts of this class was just enjoying Louise’s beautiful accent and some of the British lingo that I don’t get to hear every day. It made it even more enjoyable. Not to mention, her generous gift of two free e-books is great. I looked through my copies and feel like they have a lot of good information.
1. START WHERE YOU ARE: Don’t wait until you feel like it. Everyone has moments when they say “I’ll do such-and-such when this happens or when that happens, or when my desk area looks like a writer’s desk, or when everything is just so-so. Louise encourages you to start now! Don’t wait for the perfect conditions, because they will never happen. Also, write down why you want to start writing. Be specific! If you have written in the past but haven’t in a while, be kind to yourself. You can still start again. Carry your notebook with you and build time into your day to write when you have free moments. Perhaps you can get some writing in while you are on a bus or train. Maybe you can take a few minutes to jot down some of the word sketches Louise talks about in the class while you are sitting at your favorite café.
2. TURNING UP: She says the most important piece of writing advice she can give is to “turn up.” Show up and start writing. Establish a habit that works for you with a time you identify. Some people enjoy being a part of the 5 am writing club, some people prefer to work at night when everyone else is asleep. Whatever works for you, put it in your calendar and, as Louise says, turn up!
3 COLLECT WRITING PROMPTS: Each of us has something that we do every day, perhaps a multitude of things. Maybe in the morning, or even throughout the day, you enjoy a hot beverage. This is where you can stack a habit that you want to start onto an existing habit. For instance, put a notebook beside your tea kettle, or your coffee pot, and as your drink is brewing you can write while you wait. Perhaps you have to use the laundromat when it’s time to do your laundry. Put your notebook in your basket and use that time to your advantage. Make your writing a habit by stacking it on top of your current habits whether they are daily or weekly. Whatever works for you.
*Hack: One aspect of writing that some writers seem to struggle with is editing. One hack that Dan Brown does is color-coding his edits. If he is going through his manuscript and feels portions of a chapter are doing what they set out to do, he keeps that text in black. If something is a total disaster and needs to be reworked, he changes that text to red as a reminder that he still needs to work on that section.
This Udemy class is free! Highly rated by over 24,000 students, the class will take. you about an hour in total.
I hope this was helpful to you! That’s all for this week! I hope you will come back next week when Dair will be back on the mic reviewing The Proactive Writer Class by Georgia Clark.
In other news: Dair and I recently posted a new episode of our new podcast, Unsettling Reads. Come check out our spoiler-free review of The Merry Spinster by Daniel M. Laverly (As Mallory Ortberg) and browse our other reviews of books from the crime, fantasy, horror, literary, mystery, sci-fi, suspense, and thriller genres. You can find it all at www.UnsettlingReads.com.
Until then. . .
Happy writing, people!
Check out these books by Louise Tondeur
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