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.


FloridaGirl said...

What is the software?

C. Milton Campbell said...

My own sense of perfectionism often drags me away from writing, sometimes for months at a time. It's so frustrating, but I think I'm getting better at ignoring those little voices. Thanks for this post!

C. Milton Campbell

Jennah said...

I love your blog. You don't have to worry about trying to be a writer. You very obviously are one. As for finding the time, yes, it takes a great deal of energy and time, as does your bead work, I'm sure. I don't think I could handle two such time consuming passions. I wish you luck in your writing ventures and look forward to reading more of your blog entries.