Two recent discussions by writers that were very solid reminders about the ultimate key to writing your first book, your eleventh* book, or your sixty-seventh book:
SIT DOWN IN THE CHAIR AND GET THE D@MN BOOK DONE.
It will not be pretty. It will not always be (or even often be) sunshine and roses. It is hard work. It is often craptastic work. Occasionally, very rarely, it is magical work. Like a gambler, you will be drawn back to the words and the pages as you wait for just one more of those magical moments.
But they are rare. Hard work is guaranteed.
From Cory Doctorow:
For me the major turning point in my working life was when I figured out that the work I produced when I felt inspired wasn’t any different from the work I produced when I felt uninspired — at least a few months later. I think that “inspiration” has to do with your own confidence in your ideas, your blood sugar, the external pressures in your life, and a million other factors only tangentially related to the actual quality of the work.
And I thought I was the only one who wondered. Read more here.
From Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), to whom Cory was reacting:
(Image via The Oatmeal) See the entire cartoon here: Some Thoughts and Musings about Making Things for the Web.
From Chuck Wendig:
You can feel good about failure. Failure means you did something. You finished the story even if it wasn’t what you’d hoped. Failure means you’re learning. Growing. Doing.
But quitting — man, you don’t get that with quitting. With quitting all you get is a box full of puzzle pieces that don’t connect. You get a shattered mirror. You get a handful of dirt even the earthworms don’t want.
In storytelling, we say we want characters who are active over passive.
That’s you. You are the character in this story.
Quitting is passive. It’s letting go of the steering wheel.
Hell with that. Be active. Grab hold. White-knuckled.
Now that is some goddamned word-smithery. And, you know, his point is good, too. Read more here.