Kristan Hoffman - Writing Dreams Into Reality

Tue Dec 4 2012

30 days, 30 tweets: wisdom for writers

This post is going to look massively long already — but most of it is white space! — so I’ll try to keep the intro short.

The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's HandbookA couple years ago, Meghan Ward gave me the book THE SECRET MIRACLE, a sort of mass-interview of 60 or so authors. Basically, editor Daniel Alarcón asked a bunch of questions about the process of writing and then organized the answers into a “handbook” for novelists. My copy is riddled with Post-It flags, as if they’re some kind of disease. Honestly, the first part (about reading habits) is a little boring — hence why it took me 2 years to get past it — but once the questions got into the meat of the authors’ thoughts and habits on writing, I couldn’t stop underlining.

While I prefer not to participate in NaNoWriMo, I applaud and encourage those who do, and this year, I thought maybe I could share some of the wisdom from THE SECRET MIRACLE with them via Twitter. Like someone cheering on marathon runners from the sideline, you know?

Not all of my favorite quotes applied, nor would all of them fit in 140 characters, but here is a compilation of the ones that I managed to share:

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  1. Julia says:
    Tue Dec 4 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Lillian Hellman once said “God forgives those who invent what they need.” To me, that captures the essence of writing.

    I love the idea of cheerleaders for writing.

  2. Anthony Lee Collins says:
    Tue Dec 4 2012 at 8:23 PM

    That’s a long list. :-)

    I like the one about writing being solvng problms that you created for yourself. And the one about ten pages of bad writing being better than giving up (it’s much better, in fact).

    And, yes, breathing the air and feeling the dirt.

    The book sounds a lot like Brave on the Page. Have you read that? It’s really good.

  3. Shari says:
    Wed Dec 5 2012 at 7:56 AM

    I so enjoyed following along with you on Twitter and completely lost count of how many I added to my ‘favorites’ list. Thanks for doing this! :)

  4. Juliann says:
    Wed Dec 5 2012 at 3:20 PM

    I love these! They would have been great messages of encouragement to receive during Nano (which I didn’t finish this year. :( )

  5. Sonje says:
    Thu Dec 6 2012 at 10:28 AM

    “Remember that your job is to tell the story, not show the world how smart you are.”

    Wait, WHAT?

    Ha, in all seriousness, I really enjoyed these tweets of yours, marked a number of them as favorites, I do believe. So thank you!

  6. Kristan says:
    Fri Dec 7 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Glad you guys enjoyed the tweets! I still have a few more quotes to share, maybe on Twitter again, maybe here on the blog.

    I’ve not read BRAVE ON THE PAGE, but (a) I love that title, and (b) yes, it sounds like a similar concept!

  7. Jon says:
    Sun Dec 9 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Thanks for all of these great writing quotes. I am not a devotee of Twitter anymore, so I am glad you compiled them all here.

  8. Rose says:
    Fri Dec 14 2012 at 1:38 PM

    thanks very much for this post, i keep coming back to it to read these wonderful quotes. haha i suppose it’s not a secret how much i love inspirational quotations!

  9. Kristan says:
    Sun Dec 16 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Glad y’all are enjoying them!

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