Everyone I know has been sick, although most of them appear to be on the mend by now. I'm back at work, and the rest of my life is progressing nicely. The cat is settling in - happily destroying our brand-new revolving chair and other furniture - and is so cute that we don't mind our home looking like a tornado blew through. I'll post pictures soon. I've finished "Write. Publish. Repeat." and really enjoyed it. More, I found it informative, inspirational, and useful.
|See above for a really good book. Image taken from|
The Creative Penn blog, another really great site for writers.
Although a lot of the advice isn't necessarily useful to me right now, since I'm not at the publishing stage of the game yet, it does make clear that the formula for success isn't in writing one great novel, but in several really good ones. And in writing consistently, not just publishing one book a year. There wasn't much advice on finishing books, but I'm starting to come to the unfortunate conclusion that there really is only one remedy for that problem.
It's what many writers refer to as BIC, or Butt-In-Chair, time. For some writers, myself included, this can sometimes be excruciatingly long and painful. It shouldn't be, especially when you love your stories as much as I love mine, but sometimes looking at your own work and realizing that you're not getting the words right is just horrible. It's like trying to talk to a boy you've got a crush on, and all you can do is stammer. You're trying so hard to get it right that everything seems to be coming out wrong, even if it's really not.
Inevitably, I'll look back over my own work later and have two trains of thought, running simultaneously towards each other on the same track from opposite directions. One says, "You know, this really isn't so bad after all." The other says, "You know, this really isn't particularly good after all. What were you thinking?"
That's what I'm going to be working on this year. In 2014, I'll be installing a switch on the tracks, and the bad-thoughts train will be sent on its way. Because I'm starting to realize something: it is not she who dreams of writing beautifully who gets ahead, but she who writes. Period. And if my first books go out into the world and aren't the best things I've ever written, that's not just okay, it's normal. But you can't get better if you never get started...
Inspiration: the thought of actually being a writer, and having actual people read my stuff. Including this blog. Maybe. Please?
Music: lots of Sara Bareilles that I can belt at the top of my lungs as I drive to work. "Say what you wanna say/and let the words fall out/honestly/I wanna see you be brave!"