Windy Lynn Harris
Introducing Wise Woman Windy Lynn Harris
Windy Lynn Harris is an award winning humor writer with a weekly entertainment column in Nights and Weekends Magazine. Through her short stories and essays, Windy navigates grown-up friendships, exposes fears about getting old, and walks us through those frustrating and embarrassing moments we can all relate to. Her work has been published recently in the pages of Raising Arizona Kids, Cahoots Magazine, and The Chick Lit Review, among many others.
When did you begin your journey with Wise Women Write?
I came to one of Diane’s book signings for LifeLines at Barnes & Noble in January of 2007. Lucky for me, Diane was just forming her first Wise Women Write class and still had a few spots open. I had recently sold my first essay and was looking for a critique group to work with. What I found was so much more!
Two years is a long time. What keeps you coming back?
The women. Yes, the skills I have gained from work-shopping have moved my writing forward, but I cherish the support I get from Diane and the other Wise Women. Being part of a strong community of writers is invaluable, inspiring, and just plain fun.
Are you ever nervous to share your work?
Never. I know the feedback I get will only strengthen the piece I’m working on and help me grow as a writer. Many of my WWW assignments have gone on to be published as a result of the critique process. I’m willing to do the hard stuff, and sometimes that means admitting your piece still needs a lot of work.
What is the best advice you can give to a new writer?
It’s okay that your first draft is awkward, incomplete, and disjointed. That’s part of the process. Your first draft should be so terrible that you hide it from all other eyes, lest they think you’ve gone mad. The real magic happens in the rewrite, but you can’t get to that part of the process if you’re staring at a blank page. So, grab your pen. Be angry, be silly, be confusing-just be honest. If you end up with a garbled embarrassing mess, you’re on the right track.
What advice do you have for those writers who want to see their work in print?
Set aside time each week to market your work. I like Mondays the best and often harass, I mean encourage, my fellow Wise Women to do the same. Each Monday I spend the day researching new markets, sending out query letters, and maybe entering a juicy contest or two. If I have some time left, I read other writers’ blogs, check magazine websites, or sit down with a cup of coffee and my big ‘ol Writer’s Market Handbook. The result: over 40 bylines and counting!
What are you working on now?
I have an unfinished short story sitting on my desk, two essays in the works, and my first big non-fiction article underway. I’m expanding my “Market Coaching for Unpublished Writers” program with a local speaking tour, and I’m finishing my second novel, so I’m on the hunt for a good agent. Come visit me at www.windylynnharris.com anytime to see what I’m up to next!