Archive for the ‘Creative Writing’ Category

“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” ― Virginia Woolf

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Day #22. I am a great believer in action. But sometimes I do too much. Sometimes I push & strive when what’s really needed is a little time to let thoughts percolate, to let the fruit of a story ripen before being picked. And, remember too, that you don’t need to add metaphorical glitter & bows in order to shine because you think what you’re doing isn’t enough. Readers love writing when the heart that created it resonates with their own. You don’t need to dress up your heart. Simply express yourself. This is all you can do. Trust that this is enough.

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” ― Agatha Christie

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Day #21. This is a funny little piece of advice, but I find it’s true for me. While I’m doing housework, not thinking of anything in particular, I’m very often blessed with sudden answer to a plot problem or a few stupendous sentences. So, if you find yourself staring at the blank page, just stop & do some washing up instead! It probably won’t be long before a spark of inspiration settles on your shoulder…

“Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat.” ― Dorothy Parker

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Day #20. Whatever it is you want to do, whatever dream you want to fulfill, keep taking the steps to achieve it. It’s no use dreaming of being an author if you don’t write at least a few words every day. Don’t be put off by baby steps. Think of this: if you write a page a day for a year then you’ll have a novel by the end of 2015. A page a day for the next 89 days will give you a novella the size of Men, Money & Chocolate. Pretty good, huh? And, if you don’t want to write then you most likely won’t be applying your ass to the seat – probably quite the opposite – but the metaphor remains the same!

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.’ ― Sylvia Plath

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Day #18. In my early 20s I was so plagued by self doubt I couldn’t write more than a paragraph a year, and that’s only a slight exaggeration. I thought, in light of Shakespeare et al., was the point of my writing at all?

But self doubt is second-guessing the outside world. It’s assuming that you have to be better and/or different in order to succeed. But you don’t have to be Shakespeare or Mozart or Meryl Streep in order to find your niche in the world. And, since you really have no idea if people will respond positively or not to what you have to offer, you may as well assume that they will & get on with it!

“Your will shall decide your destiny.” ― Charlotte Brontë

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Day #17 If you want to do anything against the odds you must have great strength of will. You must be stubborn. Dogged. Tenacious. Determined. Resolute. Stalwart. Steadfast. Unfaltering. Committed. So, if you’re setting out to publish a novel, or something similar, then you need to find your inner sense of steel first!

“Success is like reaching an important birthday – and finding you’re exactly the same.” Audrey Hepburn

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Day #14. I used to believe that being published would change my life and me. I believed this all the years I was writing, right up until my first book was published. I had a spectacular launch party. My cheeks hurt from smiling. But, when all the cake had been eaten, I realised I’d been wrong. I felt exactly the same as before, nothing had changed. Success isn’t going to save you. The way you feel now is the way you’ll feel then. When you realise that you can enjoy success for what it is – the icing on the cake.

Success is a journey, not a destination. – Steve Frazier

“Aim at a high mark and you will hit it. Not the first time, not the second and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting. Finally you’ll hit.” ― Annie Oakley

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Day #13. I love Figure Skating; it’s a beautiful metaphor for life. The skaters aim at their mark, overcoming fear of failure or injury. If something goes wrong, they can’t cry or pout. They throw themselves – with perfect precision & absolute focus – into the next spin or twirl. They remind me what’s possible in terms of triumphing over the urge to have a temper tantrum, or wallow in self-pity, and instead keep living your life with brilliance & passion. Personally, pouting when things don’t go according to plan, is my natural inclination, so I need reminding. Because one can either pout or twirl, but one cannot do both!

“We gain strength, courage and confidence every time we look fear in the face. We must do that which we think we cannot do.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Day #12. I used to think I couldn’t do any of the things I wanted to do. I had thousands of thoughts on the subject of how scared & stupid I was. But then I discovered that 99% of our thoughts are negative nonsense, baring a ridiculous relationship to reality. When I stopped taking my doubts & fears seriously, I found myself doing things I’d never dreamed I could do. The more I did, the more I believed I could do. If it’s true for me, it’s absolutely true for you!

“Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlep.” ― Helen Gurley Brown

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Day #9. I waitressed for 12 yrs before getting published & for a few years after that! All the while, I made the mistake of comparing myself, unfavourably, to those writers I admired. Frankly, I still do. After all, I don’t earn enough to buy a house yet. I keep writing because I love it & because I’m still an apprentice. Being a novelist, like any profession, is a marathon not a sprint. And most artists/actors/singers/entrepreneurs have schlepped their way to success over at least 20 yrs. It’s wise then, when you’re in the early stages of your chosen vocation, not to compare yourself to those who’ve already crossed the finish line.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” ― Georgia O’Keeffe

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Day #7. I once thought successful people weren’t scared. I thought they achieved greatness because they were far braver than me. I thought they had special reserves of fire I’d never have. I watched enviously, wondering how they were so blessed with courage & why wasn’t I? Then I met a few & found out I was wrong. These people weren’t without fear, they simply didn’t let it stop them. And this, of course, is very the definition of courage: to be scared & not let it stop you.