NaNoWriMo update: I’m at about 5,500 words, which puts me like 1.5 days behind, but I think I can make it up. In addition to music without lyrics (or no music at all) I’m finding that NO INTERNET makes me much more productive… I’ve started using Freedom again to carve out little chunks of dis-connectivity.
Somehow in the midst of this NaNo craziness, I’m also working on the next episode/s of Twenty-Somewhere. That is COMING SOON. Ish.
In the meantime, here are some great tips/thoughts on being a writer:
“Big Ass Advice Post” – aka 10 tips for aspiring writers (via moonrat). In particular I think I need to take #1 to heart:
There’s a difference between the craft of writing and the business of writing. At the beginning, your job is to learn everything you can about craft. Don’t obsess about the business until you have an actual product to sell. Educate yourself but don’t get sidetracked from the job of learning how to write well.
“A posteriori” looks at “craft” (Glimmer Train):
So, what then is craft? I might say a distraction, the discourse of the deconstructionist. Writers should work with the original matter, not the tools of the critic.
John Irving talks about his writing process at Big Think, a GREAT new website (a bit similar to TED?) that I stumbled upon today:
I never begin a first draft until there is a plot, until I do know what happens to all of the characters, you might understand why those first drafts are pretty quickly forthcoming, but the rewriting process slows me down and I like everything about the writing process that compels me to slow down, to keep it slow. I write all my first drafts in long hand because you can only write so fast in longhand. And on a keyboard, you can cover too much ground in too fast a time…
And the longer the book you write, the more times you must pass through it because writer’s voices change within a four, five year period of time, you’re actually liking a different kind of sentence five years down the road, than you were four years ago. And one of the tasks of revising a novel of any length is to go back and make the whole thing sound as if it were spoken in one breath, as if your sentence style, your preference for the semicolon or the parentheses or the dash, just was constant, and you got to make it look that way, even though it wasn’t spoken in one breath, it was spoken in very halting little bits, it’s supposed to sound like it’s coming right off the top of your head.
And also from Big Think, Jonathan Franzen talks about what writing should be:
A piece of writing’s not interesting or worth doing if there’s not some personal risk, if it’s not dangerous in some fashion, whether you’re exposing some part of yourself you’d rather not talk about or whether you’re trying to be sincere about something that would be much more comfortable to be ironic about or vice versa, if you’re being sarcastic or ironic about something that people take seriously.