Wednesday, April 6, 2016

You Can't Know

Should we do a little self-help Wednesday?  I'm plugging away at Dani Shapiro's Still Writing, although, to be completely honest, I've also started The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes on the side.  I want to both Still Write and also be more like Shonda.

That seems reasonable.

Shapiro, Rhimes, and also the podcasters I've been listening to in recent weeks (Gabriela Pereira at diyMFA, Kirsten Oliphant at Create if Writing and Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn, for three) all emphasize just going for it. Don't worry about it too much.  Just put some goddamn stuff on the page.

Shonda Rhimes calls it "laying the track."  Put the words down because of "[t]he train that is a'coming no matter what." And after a while, if you keep doing it, at some point if you're lucky, you go from feeling like you're "climbing a mountain on your hands and knees" to "exultation."

That's cool, but all of the other writers I've read on craft - the writers who are not in charge of making multiple television shows every eight days - describe more of the grind and less of the flight.  For instance, Dani Shapiro says, "You can't know if it's going to work. You can't know if it's good, or has the potential to be good. You can spend days, weeks, years working on something that you will end up throwing away, or, in the more gentle way of phrasing it, putting it in a drawer.  It's a lot like the rest of life, in that way."

It's sort of in that spirit - that a writing life is like a real life - that I've kept publishing Word Savvy all these years.  And, in that same spirit, I'm taking it up a notch in 2016.

So, I have an ask.  Will you sign up for my new email newsletter?  This is Word Savvy 2.0, only eleven years in the making. Here's what's going to happen: I'm going to send you cool stuff on a weekly basis.  Stuff like book reviews, maybe a little #NovelSnip, and some other things that are so innovative that I haven't even thought of them yet.  I'm sending them to you because you're on my team, ok?  Ok.  Thanks.  You just do it right down there.

1 comment:

LH said...

I'm a subscriber! I love what you're doing here.

I'm going to wait awhile before I take it to the next level because I'm kind of busy right now.

BUT.... I fully support this move of yours and am excited to be part of it.