It’s that time again, the first Monday of the month when I open this blog to questions on anything to do with writing, the writing life and getting published in general. Feel free to ask me anything using the comments option below.
Seeing that the first Monday of April falls on April Fool’s Day, I started to think of how writers fool ourselves about our writing and our careers. Do any of these sound familiar:
I don’t need to write anything down.
I’ll remember the idea in the morning.
I can hear some of you screaming, “Nooooooooo!” from here. The brainwaves we produce right before we fall asleep are perfect for generating new ideas. Unfortunately, they’re also totally unsuited to storing short-term memories. See the pattern? We’ll have some of our best ideas, but there’s almost no chance we’ll remember them for very long. Keep a pad or recording device on your bedside to capture your inspiration.
I’ll just go online for a few minutes, then start writing.
If you believe this, there’s a really nice bridge across Sydney Harbour I can sell you. Write first, then go play online. Even if you swear by your sainted mother that it’s for research, write first. Leave gaps for stuff you need to look up, and fill them in later. But write first.
I’ll write as soon as I’m inspired
Real writers don’t write when they’re inspired; they get inspired by the act of writing. If you’re not sure what you want to write about, start anyway. Write about not writing. Write about your characters or the ones that you would write about if you had an idea. When you let yourself write rubbish, magic happens. Gradually you start writing non-rubbish, and soon you’re away.
Playing one game of Solitaire
will warm me up to write
That bridge is still for sale. I found it’s perfectly possible to play Solitaire until two in the morning until I zapped every version of the game off all my computers. Just as there’s no such thing as eating “one Pringle” there is no such thing as “one game of Solitaire” (or Bejewelled, or Words with Friends, or whatever is the current time suck)
Writing gets you warmed up for writing.
What’s your personal April Fool’s problem? How do you deal with it?
on Twitter @ValerieParv and Facebook
Read some reviews of Valerie’s latest book, Birthright at http://www.valerieparv.com/birthright.html