Thursday, October 26, 2006

Words of Wisdom

It's amazing how the days just pass in one big blur. I'm still super-busy with the jewelry making; I have my first Craft Show in less than a week and a half and I'm working like crazy to get ready for it. Still no time for writing, but the longing is still there. Whenever I get a free moment, I'm thinking about it, reading up on it, educating myself on the craft. This morning I found a few choice words of wisdom that I thought I'd share with you all. Taken from this months issue of Writer's Digest, an article entitled "The Novelist's Survival Kit" by Jordan E. Rosenfeld, "Novel writing is a tender process. A great vortex of insecurity can rise up around you and threaten to pull you into doubt. You may start to feel slightly crazed as voices fill your head with negative slogans and antagonistic values about how you aren't qualified to write so much as a grocery list. It's wise to adopt a mantra of sorts, one like this: 'I don't need to save the world, just finish this book,'... Or even just, 'Shut up -- who asked you?' It's important to remember that some of the greatest writers also wrote bad first drafts and revised repeatedly. Writer Natalie Goldberg says this about the inner critic, or 'editor' as she calls it: 'After a while, like the jabbering of an old drunk fool, it just becomes prattle in the background. Don't reinforce it's power by listening to it's empty words.' "

"There are likely perfectionists reading this who haven't yet written a novel simply because they can't bear to do it imperfectly. Let me remind you that a first draft is imperfection embodied, and in this case, that's a beautiful thing. Show me a famous painter who went to the canvas and came away with something like the Mona Lisa. Show me a sculptor who, after just a few tries, sculpted like Aguste Rodin. Art doesn't happen that way. If you want to get a novel written, you must resist the temptation to be perfect."

"Once you take the leap from blocking to writing, you'll again be visited by the goblin of perfection. This foul creature will whisper in your ear and make you want to quit. This is where you remind yourself that if you were building a house, you'd first work with beams of wood and nails to make walls and floors. Your novel is the same, only it's walls and floors are made with words. To get them down, you must simply... get them down."

The part about perfectionism really hit home with me. I know that's my problem. It's something I really need to work through. I always expect perfection the first time, and it's just not realistic. I thought the analogy of building a house was a great one! That's an image I'm going to keep with me in the days to come.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Professions for Characters

Well, I didn't end up getting that writing program for my birthday after all. My husband talked me into waiting until Christmas. The truth is, since I started making jewelry, I just haven't had a second of free time for writing. I'm spending all my extra time getting ready for a craft show I'll be selling at mid-November. In a way, I know he's right. It would be tortourous for me to see that disc on my shelf and not have hours of free time to explore it and try it out.

But surprisingly, this venture has helped my writing! Research is found in the everyday life, as they say (and if someone hasn't said it, let me be the first!). Since I started making jewelry, I have found myself throw into such a delightful, interesting world full of characters just waiting to be written about! The ladies I've come across are such open, friendly, helpful women of all ages and walks of life. And yet, this one hobby has given us something in common that bridges all gaps and breaks down all walls. Eager to talk, eager to share, eager to instruct, and eager to learn, I can definitely see a novel centered around this business working it's way through my brain! I feel so lucky, because I always have such a difficult time finding professions for my characters that I know enough about to consider myself an authority on.

And don't get me started on Craft Shows! Now there's a whole story full of interesting characters in itself!