Posts Tagged ‘writing attitudes’

The Inner Dragon

The hardest part of the writing life isn’t about digging up a worthy story, finding time to write, polishing your prose until it shines or even, these days, publishing. That stuff is hard, sure. (And kind of fun if you’re that type.) No, I think the hardest part is the inner stuff. Motivation. Attitude. Clarity.

These inner states are, in the writing life, assailed by your own personal dragon. He loves you, honestly he does. He’s a st-george-and-the-dragonpart of you, after all. But that doesn’t mean he’s right all the time, or even at all. In any case he’s here to stay.

I don’t have too much advice here–like most authors, I slog through that stuff the best I can. No Buddha-like moments of now-I-get-it, or sage platitudes of how to Really Get It.

The best I can do is list some of the things I’ve been dealing with in last week. I assure you, none of this is new or temporary. It’s perennial. Purpose here, besides getting it off my chest, is to assure some of you who are new in the field that you’ve got company when the inner dragon breathes fire. Read More…

Why I write

Dear readers and friends,

My blog is changing. I’ll be sharing more personal perspectives on the writing life rather than teaching fiction. I find that I need to commit more time to my writing, and some things, alas, must go.  It’s exciting to have a new book coming out, and of course, the next one’s under way. They’ll now get more of my attention.  I hope you’ll still drop by and catch some of my musings on the writing life and, soon, some insights into my latest book.  With many thanks–Kay

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Why I Write

I’m probably not the only writer who sometimes asks herself, Why the hell am I doing this? Writing, that is. Especially, writing novels. The answer sure isn’t glamor, money and prestige. Of course there is some income from the endeavor, but for most of us, it ain’t a lot. As for glamor, the last time I felt glamorous was sitting in my best dress at the Hugo ceremony and hearing my name from the stage–not winning an award, but being thanked by an editor. Yup, that was the high point in glamor. And those of us in the trenches know the business too well to hope for, of all things, prestige.

So if the money isn’t great, the job is rather pedestrian, and it’s short on prestige, why do it? Read More…

The next fiction dream

Dear readers and friends,

My blog is changing. I’ll be sharing more personal perspectives on the writing life rather than teaching fiction. I find that I need to commit more time to my writing, and some things, alas, must go.  It’s exciting to have a new book coming out, and of course, the next one’s under way. They’ll now get more of my attention.  I hope you’ll still drop by and catch some of my musings on the writing life and, soon, some insights into my latest book.  With many thanks–Kay

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As I write this, I’m embarking on a new novel. As usual with any new book I work on, I don’t talk about my concept. Talking about the book too soon seems to cool the fire I need to get started on the venture–to believe the story is possible, to commit my energy to the next fictive dream.

But I still want to talk about my writing experience. The wins, losses, hopes, frustrations, and those occasional spectacular gifts from the writing gods.

Today my observations on this insane process of novel writing relates to how incredibly high story hopes climb at the beginning. Read More…

On discontent

The other day a writer who had only a few short stories published confessed to me that he felt rather worthless. All this work and no novel. It had only been a few weeks since a writer who I aspire to be like confessed that she felt frustrated. All this work and still not selling like that worthless so-and-so. Then, just last week I complimented a writer on his amazing Amazon numbers. He said, really? But I’m not ranked in the 100s. Read More…

Balancing work and inspiration

Ever feel like the horse in George Orwell’s Animal Farm? He was a character involved in the barn yard revolution of animals against humans. When the revolution went sour because of the perfidy and despotism of the pigs, he famously vowed “I will work harder!”

Yeah, the poor sucker. He ended up in the glue pot, you know, even though he worked harder than anyone for his pink masters.

The uncertainty principle.

Today’s topic launches off the insight I had recently that too much work is bad for your writing and bad for your life. Okay, most of you know this. But for my fellow workaholics out there, let’s get in a circle and admit we are often powerless over this mindless and maybe pointless tendency to work all the time. Read More…