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perspective

August 17, 2009

I wonder if I need to stop taking the writing so seriously.  (Why so serious?)

Even though some aspects of the story are filled with darkness and shadows, perhaps the writing of it doesn’t need to be.  Or perhaps it does, and that is what will give it depth and power.

Some writers who inspire me right now:

I had a note in the draft of this post: “Shannon Hale’s reminder,” and I thought that would be enough of a clue.  Nope.  So, I re-read most of her recent blog posts.  (Which was a great reminder of why I love her blog so much.)

The original reminder came out of this post, about reviews.  Shannon has had her share of “good” and “bad” reviews.  Over a couple of posts, she talks about what reviews mean, and how she deals with the less-than-stellar ones.  Sometimes, it comes down to this:

“I have my dream job and write books for a living that thousands of people love, but some people don’t like them. Poor me, waah, waah, waah.” Ironic that I use self-mockery to counter public-mockery, but hey, sometimes it works.

In a more recent post, Shannon interviewed Carol Lynch Williams, who wrote The Chosen One.  Their conversation was exactly what I needed to read/hear/grok.  This quote (from Carol) captured a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately:

 What I’m trying to say is that it is hard to write icky, yucky stuff. Writing is so much who we are that we feel what we are writing–experience, sometimes, what our characters are feeling. Maybe I’m making too much of it, but that’s why, I think, it’s hard to put something tough down on paper.

Then there was Kirby Larson’s interview with Karen Cushman.  I love both of these authors – okay, I don’t know either of these authors – but I love their work.  This quote from Karen Cushman surprised me (in response to Kirby’s question about what in the writer’s life caught Karen by surprise):

How much I hate to sit down and write and how I can’t think of anything I’d rather do–it’s a real love/hate relationship.

Even Karen Cushman?  I feel better now.

I also love that Karen’s husband prompted her to write her stories down on paper when he would not listen to one more story idea.  And that she has an office AND a studio, but usually writes in the living room.  (Kirby had wonderful interview questions.)

And most recently, inspiration (a kick in the pants) came from Laurie Halse Anderson, in her Write Fifteen Minutes a Day in August Challenge.  This reminder came from Day 7:

I know it’s been a week, and it’s summer, and you will have even more excuses than usual about why you can’t write this weekend. And the truth? You don’t have to. No one is forcing you to do this, not even me. But if you are serious about your writing, you need to show up and do the work. No excuses.

So.

I’m lucky that I get to write.  Writing is hard sometimes.  Do it anyway.

No excuses.  Now I’m off to write my 1,000 words.

 

listening to: Mercury Rev, The Dark is Rising

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