When you just have to get on with it
Some days, we all try just that little too hard.
Yes, that is Ms Westwood, and not me dressed for Friday night clubbing [ snort]
Ah, the joys of re-writing a first draft! At this point I always feel like this is the first time I have ever done it, and tend to dive into notes and reference books in some ill advised attempt to make the job easier/gain some insight into what supposed to be doing.
If it works at all, it is only through lateral thinking.
Eudaemonia has created an excellent list of all the BAD advice she gleaned from her library of ‘How to Write books’. ++
These include the following gems designed to send any budding author back to the day job and daytime television;
*Whole books are out there in the ether, fully formed, waiting for me to sit and channel them into existence. They are perfect, and complete, and inevitable.
*If I’m not in some sort of trance while writing…if my characters haven’t taken over my fingers themselves…then I’m not producing quality work.
*I need to be very smart, highly educated, and utterly fascinating to write.
*I also need to be temperamental and more than a little insane.
*Ideally, my wardrobe would consist of nothing other than peasant skirts, black chiffon dresses, and high heeled boots. And a beret.
*Don’t bother writing if you haven’t lived in Paris, in a garret.
*Books and babies don’t mix.
*Fiction is all that matters. Nonfiction writing isn’t “real writing.”
*I haven’t done anything worth writing about, and yet, I must always “write what I know.”
*Only writing directly into a work in progress matters, forget planning or notetaking or even just occasionally THINKING about what I want to say. If I need to think that much, I am not a real writer.
*If my writing doesn’t resemble the examples in the writing books, I am not a real writer.
*If I am too unhappy, I must not really love writing.
*If I am too happy, I must not be “deep” enough to be a writer.
*Be suspicious if it comes too easily. Be suspicious if it’s too hard.
*Either you are a genius, or you are nothing. And you are probably not a genius.
Plus Lisa has added –
*Are you high? What makes you think you have a single thing to say that would interest anyone?
*Your writing sucks and any positive feedback you’ve gotten has been from people who don’t have the heart to break it to you or who are clinically insane and don’t know what they are talking about.
What other great fibs have you heard?
One of my favourites was that you had to have the most miserable childhood in order to find the angst to (a) be a comedian, or (b) become a fiction writer. It may be true for some folks, but always?
And somehow that does make me feel marginally less like a clueless idiot. I know this is only a temporary thing and at some point I will start to make progress.
Only good times ahead.
Now, on with the show.
No YouTube today – Radio 3.