Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Making Your Writing Life

As mentioned in previous blog post about the book, Making a Literary Life, Advice for Writers and Other Dreamers, by Carolyn See, where she says ‘don’t write what you know, write what you care about.” Which as I mentioned in my post, I’m not sure I, or a lot of writers I know, agree with.

But she does talk about writing 1,000 words a day, every day, 5 days a week, which she says is about 4 pages a day, which is achievable for most people, and pretty easy. So she says. She does caveat that with a few other thoughts, but I’ll leave that to you to read the book. She also talks about writing notes To people too, but you’ll need to read the book and decide on your things yourself.

Basically it’s just getting in the habit of writing. Turning off the awful critic in your head and going with the words that are churning around in there. And probably everywhere else in you if you’re like a lot of writers I know.

Here, Maggie does a great post on it here - http://m-stiefvater.livejournal.com/172898.html

It doesn’t matter what the routine is, just that you make the decision to write, and you do. And then keep it up, even after the flush of that first passion wears off and other insanely better ideas begin waving and offering you skittles. And remember…”

I don’t really like skittles all that much but Maggie does make a great point in what she’s trying to say.

There aren’t too many writers I know that haven’t at some point been lured away from their current amore that they are hard at work writing on, or hopefully hard at work on, to dabble with a new idea or story line. Thinking that this new love is very possibly The one that we should be working on. Instead of that very familiar, possibly stale, one we’ve been living with for awhile, and probably what seems like ages. I think most of us will tell you, don’t fall for it. Don’t fall for the stranger, no matter what candy he’s holding out to you. Maggie’s skittles or not. Didn’t your momma even tell you that?

What seems to work with most of us, again, hopefully, is to jot down that lovely new idea and character thoughts, and then give them a deep meaningful stare and quick kiss, and get back to your long-time, and probably neglected love, hopefully before they know you’ve been gone for any length of time. You’ll be better for it. Perhaps even your story will. And at the very least you don’t have to worry about what you’re going to do when your current love affair with what you are currently writing comes to its inevitable ‘The End’…. You’ll be ready to pick up a new one with that lovely dish that is just waiting in the wings. The waiting makes you both grow stronger you know. Since I know you’ve added thoughts to that file here and there along the way, when you’ve slipped out away from your current. That’s okay as long as you don’t abandon your current for a fling that ends up coming to nothing. Most writers have more than their share of woes there. Stay the course. Finish what you’ve begun. You’ll be glad. Especially since I’m going to give a couple of other things I did like from the book.

Here’s couple of other quotes from the book that I liked - …’Australian Aboriginals say if you don’t “sing your world into being,” no one else will’…. ‘No one else has your information.’

But my favorite from the book – “Roger Simon, a fine mystery writer, once gave a wonderful speech, in which he said: The success of any of your friends is a genuine cause for rejoicing, because it brings you closer to the charmed circle of people who are doing their best work and having a good time.”

That sounds like a good reason for everyone to come and hang out and support all the great people that are James River Writers, doesn’t it?

And if you make plans to do it this Thursday night, August 26th, at the Children’s Museum of Richmond, you can also learn about how to reach out and touch people on the internet as well. Not a bad way to spend an evening, eh?

Hope to see you there!

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