Saturday, March 10, 2007

Just do it

howiwrite.jpgKat's favorite author is Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum bounty hunter series. We've been reading her How I Write: Secrets of a Best Selling Author.

Like most writing books you come away with lots of what to do and not so much how, perhaps because the how is so individual most authors can't really explain it in a way that sets off light bulbs for others. But it is funny like her books and there is some good encouragement.
"For thirty years I'd been telling myself stories and I'd never once put one on paper! I knew nothing about the business of writing. Didn't know any writers. Didn't have any skills. Had forgotten how to punctuate a sentence and hadn't a clue how to write dialogue. So, armed with all this ignorance, I set out to write a book. My first attempt was horrible and embarrassing. Ditto the second. The third book was less horrible, and I'd gotten beyond embarrassment. Still couldn't sell anything. The thing is, I discovered I loved the process. I had a supportive family and my Jersey belligerence kicked in. I hung in there and kept trying to get better ... and ten yeas after I made the decision to write a book, I finally sold one (Hero at Large.)"
Discipline Essentials

Write something every day, even if it means getting just a few sentence on the screen. Here are a few different ways to accompish this:
  • Do it by time. Start small, if you want. Start with five minutes and increase the time b five minutes a day. In two weeks, you'll be sitting at your desk for about an hour a day. Add more time as you choose.
  • Do it by pages. Start with one paragraph a day and work toward a page a day. If you do only that, by year's end you will have written 365 pages.
  • Do it by word count. Plan to write a specific number of words each day. Hemingway wrote around five hundred words a day -- approximately two pages. In his short lifetime (Hemingway died at sixty-one), those two pages a day produced nine novels and a bunch of short stories -- with plenty of tikme out for game hunting and fishing.
  • Do it by appointment. Treat writing like any other part of your daily routine. Carve out a place -- the corner of a room or the kitchen table -- and a certain time of each day for writing. Then show up for work.
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