Writing and Writing

“Where did you get your copies?”
“Out of my head.”
“That head I see now on your shoulders?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Has it other furniture of the same kind within?
“I should think it may have: I should hope–better.”

I think it was the first two books I read about novel-writing that planted the four most impactful ideas.

  1. Never save anything for your next novel
  2. Don’t expect to publish your first novel
  3. Expect writing a novel to take a long time
  4. Publishers aren’t interested in a one-book wonder. They want to create a brand.

I wonder now if these statements had the most impact on me because they were in the first books I read, or because they are what I most needed to hear.

One of the authors said his first published novel was the third he wrote, but the first two weren’t wasted because (aside from helping him develop as a writer and learn/perfect his craft) having those manuscripts proved to his publisher that he was serious about writing. Eventually he did rework at least one of them for publication.

My challenge sometimes seems to be remembering that I have enough material to make more books. I like that opening quote (from Jane Eyre) because it reflects my feelings about producing more than one work.  I continue to write because it is like moving– I can only be still so long. But more than just having something new to write, I want it to actually be better.

One thought on “Writing and Writing

  1. I rarely write outside my blog anymore. I have a difficult time justifying time to myself and get on my blog by checking my e-mail and voice messages. It’s also much easier to write for the public or when I know someone is going to review it in workshop. Seems unsatisfying to have a piece of paper sit on my bookshelf getting dusty. *sigh*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *