October 30, 2004
"Stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position." -Stephen King (On Writing, 77-78)
"If you don't want to work your ass off, you have no business trying to write well." -Stephen King (On Writing Well, 144)
October 27, 2004
Encouragement; Or, Dear God I Want to Quit
"I canít write a book commensurate with Shakespeare, but I can write a book by me." - Sir Walter Raleigh
"Donít bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself." - William Faulkner
"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." - E.L. Doctorow
"When I write, I feel like an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth." - Kurt Vonnegut
"Most editors are failed writersóbut so are most writers." - T.S. Eliot
"Writing can give you what having a baby can give you: it can get you to start paying attention, can help you soften, can wake you up. But publishing won't do any of those things; you'll never get in that way." - Anne Lamott (Bird By Bird)
"The first draft of anything is shit." - Earnest Hemingway
And what could quite possibly be my motto for the month of November:
"Don't be afraid of your material or your past. Be afraid of wasting any more time obsessing about how you look and how people see you. Be afraid of not getting your writing done." - Anne Lamott (Bird By Bird)
Or another good one:
"You simply keep putting down one damn word after the other, as you hear them, as they come to you." - Anne Lamott (Bird By Bird)
Posted by kevin at 4:45 PM
October 22, 2004
What Is This
Downtown Dandelions is going to be my first novel. It will be written in the month of November as a part of National Novel Writing Month. I expect it to suck. Big time. It's a first draft, written in 30 days, so let's not get any grand expectations here.
This blog is an attempt to make my misery public and for some odd reason share the results with the world. Essentially, it's yet another weapon in my growing arsenal of persuassion to keep at this month of insanity. I shall accomplish 50,000 words in 30 days and call myself a novelist. There's no backing out now. You can't make a web site about the attempt and then not come through. That's what I keep telling myself.
I've always wanted to write a novel. But it never happens. I can definitely call myself a writer. I've got the degree, the day job, the bylines. But writing a book has always stood as the ultimate pinnacle. A novel is the ultimate confirmation that, yes, I am a writer. It's a badge of honor. A symbol of pride. And it's also shit.
Anne Lamott has said that publication is shit, and I continually try to remind myself of that. Yet the desire exists.
And yet I never have the motivation to make it happen. Glancing through the writing category of my personal blog is rather revealing:
- March 19, 2001: I want to write a book
- March 31, 2001: I've started writing a book
- May 7, 2001: Book by 32=beard & cooky
- January 4, 2002: More Whining About Wanting to Write a Book
- August 8, 2002: I Still Want to Write a Book
- March 21, 2003: Publication is Shit
- April 29, 2004: Why Aren't I Writing a Book?
- May 9, 2004: One novel. 58 hours.
- May 13, 2004: No 58-Hour Writing Spree--Yet.
- October 8, 2004: November Rain
Which finally brings us to National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to give yourself a difficult yet doable deadline so you can make this thing happen. I'm tired of saying I'm going to do it. It's time to actually do it.
Part of the joy of writing it in 30 days is that you banish your inner-editor. That results in a lot of crap, but it also lets some brilliance shine through (hopefully). So let's just deal with the crap and hope enough brilliance comes through to make it all worthwhile.
And best of all, when it's all said and done, I can finally stick my nose in the air and call myself a novelist. Stupid? Yes. But so is pretending writing a book is the greatest thing ever and never actually trying it.
My intentions with this blog are simply to post my writing for the day and maybe a word count update. Don't look for commentary, because that's time I could be putting towards my word count. Enjoy what you see, but be forewarned: it's crap. I know it. Feel free to comment or leave encouragement, but know that I probably won't take the time to respond. Don't feel free to critique because I definitely won't have time for that. I already know it's crap, I don't need you telling me so. This blog is more for me than it is for you.
We clear? Good.
Posted by kevin at 3:43 PM