5.07.2006

Stop reading Miss Snark and go write

Your Holiness

I kneel at the throne to kiss the ring, bearing a liter of Bombay and tartar of Kobe steak for KY. I face a dilemma. After thirty years of observing pathetic attempts to influence the government of your state and only three years attempting to write a novel about the same, what should I do? Start a blog for political nitwits? Or, perhaps, finish the dog damned novel and write a killer query letter, which, IMO, is harder than getting a bill passed?

Today’s Nitwit



I vote for the second one.

It's easy to get distracted thinking the stuff you do (like blogging, or sorting your files, or doing a lot of research) will help you write the novel. Wrong.

Nothing takes the place of actually writing. Nothing.

Get busy. Quit reading this blog, and go write. There's nothing on this blog that is going to help you finish.

10 comments:

jta said...

Miss Snark, you should be syndicated, and reading you should be the law (upon completion of ms, of course.)

Ross Gelbspan once told me "You know, the war will end, whether you demonstrate or not. Your book won't."

Ted Solataroff, back when he was at NAL, said something similar when I asked about tuition benes for some writing course: "Why don't you skip the tuition and time and write the book? Wouldn't that teach you more?"

Linda Adams said...

One writer actually wanted to spend a lot of time designing each of the clothing the characters wore. Looked productive on the surface, but while she was drawing everything out, nothing got written.

Anonymous said...

Yep, currently reading snarkives and avoiding my manuscript.

I don't know what I'm waiting for.

Ansley

Anonymous said...

"You know, the war will end, whether you demonstrate or not. Your book won't."

Sagest piece of advice I've heard in awhile.

Mark said...

Yea Ross Gelbspan. My novel on his prime subject is nearing its end, through persistence and hard BIC work.

RB said...

All I can say is thank you for updating your blog very late, so that I at least have no reason to see if you've updated it during the day when I should be writing...

Not that I haven't done that on more than one occasion... just in case...

NĂ© said...

"To be a writer, there is a fundamental principle that must be understood.... 'to write is an action-verb. Thinking is not writing. You must write to be a Writer'".

This is most likely a mis-quote, but the general gist is there. Read it in an "Idiot's Guide" type of book at B&N.

Dhewco said...

You mean all those times playing CIV IV hasn't helped me plan my battle scenes? Tell me it isn't so!


(CIV IV is a game that allows you to conquer the world using all kinds of soldiers/techniques...it's too cool and distracting)

David

Rei said...

Much more productive than Civ would be reading up about actual battle strategies used at various points in history. I found reading about Hannibal's tactics to be very useful, even though combat was only dominant in a small part of my book. Likewise, when creating religious elements for the fictional world, I mixed bits of Catholic mass with Bhagavad Gita**-style quotes and tweaked it into a "1984" tone. I knew Catholic mass from growing up, but
I had to read quotes from the Bhagavad Gita and learn about its background.

In the end, you need to have words on paper. However, research, as long as it's efficient research, is certainly justified.

** - A sacred book of Hindu scripture that reveals Krishna's teachings. It is most famous in the west for the line, "I am become Death (Shiva), Destroyer of Worlds," thought of by Oppenheimer (who was proficient in Sanskrit) after watching the first atomic bomb test. It's a bit of poetic license with the original, but a very powerful quote.

Dhewco said...

Yeah, I've read many an extensive book on battles and strategy...I was trying to be funny...guess I failed. LOL


David