Tuesday, 5 February 2008

I did it, I did it, I diiiIIIIId it!

The White Stripes - There's No Home For You Here -- their best song so far, in my opinion. Ignore the slideshow -- scroll past. Just hit play and listen.

To commemorate my completion of DRAFT FOUR of my Violinist novella, I am finally posting. That's right, draft four. The draft where I'm proud enough of what I've written that I'll actually show it to people. One (maybe two) draft(s) away from what I'm going to start shopping to publishers.

Melissa tagged me with one of those goofy viral "Tag" thingies that goes around blogs.

I don't mind this one, because it's about writing.

The question was: give three tips for writing, and pass the baton to three of your blogger/readers, to answer the same question on their blogs.

Maybe it was supposed to be "how to write for a blog" but I'm going to take it as "how to work toward writing professionally"

Tip 1 (courtesy of the time I met Timothy Findley)


Just do it. Don't dream about it. Don't wish you had time to, don't think about the fame and glory that will come after you sell your first bestseller. . . just write. And if you're meant to be a writer, sez Mr. Findley, "You'll know."

Tip 2

While Mel pointed out that it's important not to make writing a chore or an obligation (at least not until you're a professional writer with deadlines and things), I say, don't make it a chore, but if writing's important to you, arrange your life so as to be conducive to more writing.

-Sometimes that means you have to make choices. If your job takes away the time and energy you used to have for writing, well, by keeping that job, you're tacitly voting with your timetable. There's nothing wrong with that, but be aware of it.
-Find a job where you have free time during your most creative time of the day.
-Surround yourself with people who help clear a space in your life to write, and who support you in doing so, communicate to people close to you how this IS a priority for you, and you appreciate their support.
-Disconnect your home internet if it's stealing time from your writing.
-Stop watching movies, sell your television.
-Live more cheaply, so you can take the lower paying job with MORE FREE TIME to write.
-Create a comfortable writing space in your home. Keep it clean, and use it.
-Get a really beautiful journal with quality paper, that's a pleasure to hold, and a comfortable pen that writes well for you, that makes a satisfying scratching sound when you write with it, so that you enjoy, and look forward to opening up the journal and writing in it.
-Get an ultraportable laptop, or a word processor, or a handheld tape recorder, and carry it with you all the time, so that you can write while waiting for your friend to arrive, instead of just staring into space. Fill your life with opportunities to write, see every spare moment as an opportunity to write, and carry with you the equipment necessary to TAKE those opportunities, and actually write!

3. Learn your own process, and be patient with it.

(bonus, 'cause Mel gave four)

4. Live as much as you can, and notice as much as you can, and take notes and internalize as much as you can. Travel, talk to people, don't wear an MP3 player -- listen to the world. Go out and do stuff, instead of staying inside when it's cold or rainy or too hot. Make friends with people who get you to do things you wouldn't normally do. Get wet sometimes, or sick. Remember what it's like. Pay attention to how things smell, feel, taste, all that little stuff. Do things that are out of the ordinary, to see how people around you react -- you might learn something. Get your hands dirty, and keep your eyes open.

Then. . .
(see #1)

I tag. . . I dunno. I don't have many readers. Dan? Deb? uhh. . .Cheryl? You still reading?

Facebook-related Mini-rant: once people FINALLY got smart enough to stop forwarding junk to their friends' e-mail inbox, facebook comes along, and suddenly ALL the garbage that it took me six years to wean my friends from forwarding to me on E-mail, has returned, like the killer in a bad horror movie, to clutter and litter my facebook profile and inbox. AAAAAAAAAAAAUGGGGGHHHHHH!!! It's even easier to forward things on Facebook (damn virals) and sometimes you even forward stuff without meaning to. well. . . it's just like e-mail, folks. If you forward the superstitious "forward to everyone on your list or you'll die at midnight" e-mail, you're a chump (and worse). If you forward it on facebook. . . YOU'RE STILL A CHUMP!


But I'm happy today. Happy as a rainbow banana.

When I finished writing my English Honours Thesis, I walked around TWU's campus for most of the morning showing my fifty page thesis to people around me, bubbling, "Look what I can do!" before I handed it in. That's how I feel now. I wish you could hold my fourth draft in your hands and share a glass of happy with me.



Dad said...

May God grant you the fulfillment of your heart's deepest desires.

melissa said...

Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!! I celebrate, too!!!!!!! Very, very elated for you. Look everyone, my friend the writer just wrote something incredible, AND he's finished, AND he's happy with it! AND I think youu are truly great. WAHOO!!