Welcome to another installment of Meet our SWG Members!
Today’s featured guild member is Janice Leuschen, a long-standing member of SWG. In addition to writing historical fiction, Janice is a professional copywriter. Learn more about Janice below.
I didn’t start writing until I was in my mid thirties. The reason? I couldn’t spell (and I still can’t). I had lots to say, but it was too hard to get the words on paper – sounding out and looking up words. But with word processors, I was able to write and not have to stop to look up all the words I couldn’t spell.
I’ve been a member of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild since its second year, 1993, I guess. I could have joined the first year, but I didn’t think I was good enough to be part of the group. I’d only written a few pieces and hadn’t published anything. I hadn’t even had the nerve to submit anything.
I’ve stayed with the guild because I have so many long-time friends in the guild and many new friends, as well. I enjoy their company and their support.
To make a living, I work as a copywriter, writing marketing copy for the mining supply industry. I’ve written short fiction and placed in a few contests. I’ve also written humour columns. But right now, I’m working on a novel.
I write in my home office. It’s the place go to get work done. Writing anywhere else is distracting. When I edit, however, I print out the piece and take it to a more comfortable chair to edit. I have several short fiction pieces that are unfinished. They are waiting for a good ending. Some day an ending will come to me.
The beginning of the pandemic was tough. I didn’t have any copywriting clients, and most companies were panicking and cutting their marketing budgets. I was out of sorts, and my writing was forced. After a family medical emergency this summer (all is good), I took some time off to putter around the house. I didn’t have a to-do list, I just puttered. Somehow this puttering helped me recover and I’m back writing again.
Since October, I’ve gotten my writing groove back and the novel is coming along nicely thanks to Write! Right? The client work has picked up again. All is right with the world.
Here are my pointers for writers.
1. Read. In your genre and anything else. You will learn about writing even from poorly written books.
2. Write. It could be a journal, stream of consciousness, personal essays, fiction, poetry. It doesn’t have to be every day, but it should be most days.
3. Rewriting is an important part of the writing process. During the rewriting, you discover the real story. Don’t be overwhelmed during this process.
4. Study your craft. I have dozens of books on writing. Yes, I’ve read some.
5. Rejection is part of the submission process. It’s nothing personal.
6. As Ray Bradbury said, “You fail only if you stop writing.” This quote is on my wall beside my computer.
7. Be a member of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild. You’ll need the support and the connections to grow as a writer.