Saturday, July 14, 2007

smart saturday

I'm not adding any new habits this week. I think I have enough to keep me busy for now. Here's how I'm doing so far.

Habit 1: Clean speech. Now I really notice when I slip up. Swearing is no longer a way of speech for me. I know that "dang" and "crud" are not horribly taboo words, but I like my speech, and self, better now that those words are in my past.

Habit 2: Violin practice. Didn't do it this week. And to tell you the truth, I'm reconsidering it for the summer. We have so little enjoyable weather in this state that I hate to stay in when I can get out, except of course when I'm...

Habit 3: Writing daily. This one I'm not giving up. It is slow, slow going, but I now have a chapter one of 4000 words and a beginning to chapter two. More than half of my writing time has been spent tweaking my outline, so maybe I'm not doing so badly. Not that I have a deadline on this project, anyway. No editors calling. Yet.

As I've noted previously on this blog, I really dig Shannon Hale. On Shannon's website she has some thoughts on writing and I found these cool quotes:

"People have writer's block not because they can't write, but because they despair of writing eloquently."Anna Quindlen (that's me. a tough one to get over.)

"The writer who cares more about words than about story (characters, action, setting, atmosphere) is unlikely to create a vivid and continuous dream; he gets in his own way too much; in his poetic drunkenness, he can't tell the cart--and its cargo--from the horse." John Gardner (well, at least there is no danger of that here. i must have a high tolerance for my poetry, because I don't appear to be drunk on it.)

"An insufficiency of pigs is one of the great faults of modern children's books." Frederick Laws
(plenty of pigs in my book.)

"Douglas Coupland, the author of Generation X, once told me that selling your first book is like winning the lottery; keeping your career going in this industry is like winning the lottery over and over again...The truth is, writing a novel can be painful and horrid. It's like having a stomach virus that lasts three months: You're hunched over your desk, heaving again and again, trying to get the last bit out, but it just won't come. On the other hand, some elements of this business are incredible, fulfilling, glamorous, and life-changing. There's no better feeling in the world than seeing your work on the bookstore shelves for the first time. I may never write the Great American Novel. Likewise, I may never reach the status of John Grisham or Michael Crichton. But I will always follow the advice I got from Mr. Louisiana (a bodybuilder/model/retail broker), a fellow contestant in Fox's Sexiest Bachelor pageant. 'You've got to shake what your mamma gave you.'" Ben Mezrich (i can attest to the stomach virus feel, but i think i need to work on shaking.)

10 comments:

Mallory said...

Good quotes! I should remember those, especially the one about words. If it's a true story, I have no problem telling the story while incorporating a great vocab. If I'm thinking something up of my own pure brain (outside a poem) I struggle with getting past myself and into the story. I think I'll start practicing though. Thanks!

Montserrat said...

I can't believe I left my Austenland at my mother's house. I can't even get her to send it because she's been in Spain for the last two weeks. Waaah!

The first quote by Anne Quindlen fits me to a T.

athena said...

i've joined the smart habits saturday challenge this week and have added writing as my new habit. sounds like everything is going well for you. i saw these quotes on shannon's blog too. love the quotes but not sure i like reading quotes about the failure to write. at least that's what it sounds like to me.

An Ordinary Mom said...

It looks like you are making progress on your habits and that is what is most important. Good luck this week! You can do it!

Corrie said...

I love the reminder that we must get past ourselves and get into the story rather than the details. There is always time for that later. Good luck with your habits this week.

Anonymous said...

Lindsay,

I've been waiting to here what you thought of Austenland. I was disappointed. It's my first Shannon Hale book. I just didn't really like the main character and thought some of the jokes were crude and immature. I wanted to like the book, but I just didn't. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts about it.

Amy in CA

Robin@MyPursuitOf... said...

Sounds like your habits are coming along. Have a great week! Thanks for the reminder about Austenland. I had heard about it and just put it on hold at the library.

The Lazy Organizer said...

Great post! I didn't know I liked to write until I started blogging. Now I think I really would like to write a book but not a novel. I'll leave that to you professionals!

Calandria said...

athena, did you find the quotes discouraging then? I think it's helpful for me to reread these quotes every now and then so i stop coming up with excuses.

athena said...

i know there are times when we need a kick but i'm not sure i like some of the quotes she had. maybe they're more for her than for anyone else because most don't speak for me. i know that writing is painful but for me i need to read quotes more along the lines that i'm not alone in this journey like: "Writing is the way I honor the physical world. I think of it as a kind of prayer." sounds cheesy i know. or "You don’t have to tell everything. Let the concrete specifics stand in for the general." i need "specifics" quotes to help me in my writing.