Tuesday, November 24, 2009

my NaNoWriMo motivators

From David Robbins at the James River Writers "The Writing Show" (January 31, 2008; The Best Editor — You!) who spoke as part of panel discussion. What I remember him saying is "It's art. First and foremost you are an artist." And he added that it's up to the artist to decide how the story goes.

Neil Gaiman from the 2008 Week Three NaNoWriMo Pep Talk
The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of  sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasmor even arguing with meshe simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, "Oh, you're at that part of the book, are you?"
I was shocked. "You mean I've done this before?"
"You don't remember?"
"Not really."
"Oh yes," she said. "You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients."
I didn't even get to feel unique in my despair.
So I put down the phone and drove down to the coffee house in which I was writing the book, filled my pen and carried on writing.

Maureen Johnson from the 2009 Week Two NaNoWriMo Pep Talk
You have wandered into The Middle. Thing is, writers spend something like 97% of their time in The Middle. Once you leave those first pages, those first days... you wander into strange land and you stay there for a long, long time. It took me a little while, probably a few years of full-time writing, to fully accept that that middle bit was where I was going to be spending pretty much all of my time. This is the thing they don't tell you. When you see portrayals of writers on television or in movies, what are they normally doing? They're sipping coffee or cocktails, or jetting around to signings, or solving murders for fun.
I like to know my misery is normal. I like hearing that it's all part of a process, that I am on the path, on the way and that something else is coming up ahead. I just have to keep on going.

Those thoughts have kept me going. Thanks, everyone! I'm ahead in my word count for the first time ever. I like this story a lot. Even the trite bits, the stupid parts and the silly character names. Everyone should write a novel.

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