No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness. -Aristotle

Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. -Edgar Allen Poe

You should never doubt what nobody is sure of. -Willy Wonka-

In the end, we all become stories. -Margaret Atwood


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Write on a Schedule? Are you Serious?

Save Yourself from this stupid piece of advice and do this instead – write when the mood strikes.

I keep reading “write on a schedule” in writing magazines and books that sound like the writing magazines, or maybe the magazines sound like the books, regardless, they all say the same thing. John Gardner wrote over 300 pages of heartfelt, insightful words on fiction writing and the only one given credit to him is "to create a dream in the writer’s mind." It makes me wonder if anyone that quasi-quoted him actually read the rest of what he wrote or if they just parroted what others have said.

Fiction writing is supposed to be creative, so how can you be creative if you are forcing yourself to do something at the same time every day? Are you thrilled about rising at 5 a.m. and going to work?

Aren’t there enough demands on your time? The alarm clock, the timer, the bills, the dog, the kids, the party, the office, and you want one more thing to have to do, daily?

Don’t the brilliant ideas arrive when you are in the shower, exercising, or watching a really good movie?

Isn’t spontaneity more fun?

If you write when you get that brilliant thought your writing will reflect it. It will be bolder, stronger, colorful and powerful. That’s what you want!

And stop reading writing magazines and books that tell you how to write because they don’t. Read books that tell you of the ideas and psychology behind writing and form your own style. This is about you.

One more thing. I don’t think you have to read a lot of other people’s books to be a good writer. My belief is that you have to be a good thinker to be a good writer. You should read other writing for distraction not for creation. You want your own voice, not borrow theirs. Sell your own drama.

2 comments:

Erik Martin said...

I try to write on a schedule--I find that I take my writing more seriously doing this. Also, many times I may not be in the mood when I start, but after a paragraph or two I get in the flow and get some good work done. Its like exercise--I don't always want to, but once I start and get warmed up it feels pretty good. I get a lot more done that way than if I wait for inspiration to strike.

Nancy said...

Erik - good! You should do what works for you. Best of luck with your writing!