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something inspirational
hello. over my regular coffee break i had this sudden urge to burden complete strangers with my thoughts and opinions, so here i am. ^_^

ahem. anyway, i just thought i'd share something that struck me as really good advice. it's from jude deveraux's novel "wild orchids" (yes, i read romance novels and i like jude deveraux, so there) and it offers some encouraging advice for writers who dream of writing the next Pulitzer-prize-winning novel and are frustrated when they think their work is coming up short:

"You can't choose what you write. No one comes down to you, sitting on a pink cloud, and says, 'I'm going to give you the ability to write. So which talent to you want? The Jane Austen model that lives forever, or the kind that makes you lots of money while you're alive but dies when you do?' No one gives you that choice. You just take whatever talent you're given and thank God four times a day for giving you any talent at all."

oh, and one more line that i picked up from "robots": "a dream that you don't work hard for is a dream that's going to haunt you for the rest of your life."

i guess same goes for the stories/books you've wanted to write but haven't, right?
That's some good advice there--especially the line from "Robots."

I've been reading a lot of books on writing lately, in an effort to saturate my brain so thoroughly that every time I cough, a novel comes out. :-P One of the bits of advice I keep seeing reiterated in every one is this: the difference between a wannabe writer and a writer is that the writer writes. The wannabe will have excuses--"I'm too busy," or "I don't have any good ideas," or "I don't know enough about this subject to write about it." And the writer will sit down with a pen and a piece of scratch paper on their lunch break and hammer out 1500 words about nuclear physics, not caring that they don't know a thing about it--just caring that they get it written down.
that reminds me of a story one of my teachers told us. although i do have doubts about the veracity of this story, it's still a good parable about writing:

once, harvard university managed to invite novelist saul bellow (at least i think it was saul bellow) to give a workshop for aspiring writers. the auditorium was packed, but the organizers were getting worried because the guest speaker was late. when mr. bellow finally arrived, they were further dismayed to find he was drunk, or so badly hung over that he was still two-thirds drunk, and was thus extremely grumpy. he staggered over to the podium and eyed the crowd. "all those who want to be writers, raise your hands," he said.

every hand in the auditorium shot up.

"then what the hell are you doing sitting here?" he retorted. "go home and write!" and with that, he lurched away.

still makes me smile, that story, urban legend or not.


p.s. the idea of literally coughing up novels made me smile, too. and wince at the same time. can you imagine hacking up and spitting out a hard bound book? ugh.