So, there’s this status going around writing circles right now on social media: “Seven things about my writing that readers might want to know.” I was tagged by a friend this morning, so I thought I’d do this here, on my blog, instead of Facebook.*
I’m not tagging anyone, but if you want to share your seven things after reading this, please do. Feel free to comment with a link to them, so I can read them. I’m curious.
Here are mine:
- It is difficult for me to complete any piece of writing. In fact, I have this irrational belief that it’s impossible for me to finish anything. I think that was one of the reasons I went into a newspaper job where I had to complete at least two stories a day.
- I resisted outlining for years, until recently, when I had no choice because I couldn’t afford to sit around waiting for inspiration to strike.
- I used to write 500 words of fiction a day. Now I schedule the days I will dedicate to fiction and which I will dedicate to journalism in advance.
- I can’t write fiction and non-fiction on the same day. My brain won’t do it without a fight.
I hate it when other artists think they can tell you how to create. If someone tells you “writers write” or “you have to write every single day” or “you should be writing” they’re probably well-intentionedly repeating their own mantras to you. They probably beat themselves over the head with those mantras, but that doesn’t mean they get to beat YOU over the head. Don’t listen to these people. No one can tell you how to make art.
- My fiction is always the richest when nothing exciting is happening in my own life.
- My son will probably be hearing the words “Just wait until Mommy finishes her chapter” for the rest of his life.
What are your seven things? Share them in the comments.
*I have strict rules for myself about chain letters and memes. I don’t usually participate and for 20 years, I’ve been guilt-free about ignoring them. Why? Because in my sophomore year of college, someone sent me the anti-chain letter and now, just by virtue of having read it, I am absolved for life of all guilt for not forwarding emails, not scrolling to the bottom of messages, not reposting statuses, not tagging people and not nominating people for online awards just because I was nominated.