First, if you belong to a book club (or know someone who does) and would like to take part in a massive, fabulous book contest, click HERE. You’ll be taken to my shiny new Facebook fan page for more info (feel free to become a fan while you’re there; really, I won’t mind), but the bottom line is this: four winners will receive a year of books for their entire book club–ten copies of 12 books, many of which are NYT’s bestsellers. Yeah. Pretty amazing. Spread the word.
Second, you might have noticed the appearance of avatars in WU comments. If you haven’t yet registered a universal avatar and would like to, take the super easy step and register with Gravatar.
We’re at the end of WU’s best (mostly craft) advice month, where we suggested that you write with invisible tension, prepare yourself for a writerly life the best way you can, learn how to write a good logline, push yourself beyond the ordinary, give yourself over to your characters, embrace the process of revision, listen to your gut instead of the market — but also be aware of the market, honor the source of your creativity, read your work aloud, don’t give up, find a writers’ community in which to thrive, write whole books, unblock with a simple trick, and of course, remember to have fun.
That’s a lot of advice, I know — and not every bit of what you’ve read here will be for you, but I hope some of it is exactly what you needed to hear.
Scott Nicholson left a comment on one of my posts this month, asking,
…whatever happened to writing the story that inspires you?
That post, titled Be Extraordinary, was all about serving the work–and yourself, as a writer. And the work you’re serving? I sure hope you feel something deeply positive for it and that it does inspire you, because otherwise writing may come to feel like a resented chore. And how can you best serve something you resent?
Kath mentioned this in her last post, but I’m going to highlight it here too:
Love what you’re writing.
Love the story in your mind.
Love what you know it can be.
Love the characters.
Love them madly.
If you don’t, maybe you need to have a chat with those characters, figure out what they’re not telling you, connect on a deeper level. Maybe you need to take the plot in a new direction, one that arouses or reignites your excitement.
Or maybe you’re not writing the right story. There’s no shame in realizing that, in starting over with something that truly stirs your imagination, makes you want to sit for ungodly hours at the keyboard and type.
Me, I have to have an almost obsessive love for my story for it to thrive–something I was reminded of recently with my second book. It had taken way too many months for me to realize I didn’t know the lead well enough, didn’t identify with her enough or even understand her half of the time. And then I did. I got it, got her. She took me deeper, and now I can’t wait to tell her story.
So, yes, love your story. Let it inspire you. This gig is simply too hard without that inner flame–not just for the work of writing in general, but for this work, the work of now, the work whose hungry little mouth is open right there on your computer.
Photo courtesy Flickr’s shudrbug