Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Five Faves

I started off writing this post about my favorite "general" things like movies, television shows and restaurants. But then I realized it started to read like a personal ad:

Likes: funny movies, long walks on the beach, men with a sense of humor
Dislikes: arrogant men, unreliable people and cold scrambled eggs

So, in an effort NOT to make this post sound like an ad for online dating, I’m going to focus on my five favorite writing-related things. Here goes:

1. When inspiration strikes for the first time. Ever since I started seriously pursuing a writing career, what I call my inspiration "antenna" is always on full-alert. I’m always looking for a new character idea, quirk, plot twist or name. And it’s surprising how many can be found by reading the newspaper or watching a television show. When I do get a new idea, it’s like the honeymoon stage of a relationship—"This is the best idea ever! This idea will never lead me astray. It will call me every day and never cancel plans. It might even buy me an engagement ring some day."

2. Revisions. I know we’ve covered this topic, but I have to say it again: Love. Revisions. I. Do. I’d much rather be staring at a page full of crappy writing than a blank one. And I won’t torture you all again by prognosticating my love for revision accessories. I’ll just point you here.

3. Reading back over those passages that make you buzz. You know the ones—passages that you don’t remember writing; that make you step back and go, "Whoa! This is really, really good. When did I become such an awesome writer?" Passages that click along and seem to shine just a little brighter than the surrounding words. It gives you a little jolt of electricity with the knowledge that, yeah, this writing stuff is pretty amazing.

4. Laughing at my own work. This is kind of connected to #3. There’s one part in Book #2 where I crack up every time I read it. And each time I do, my husband always looks at me like I’ve taken too many cold medicine pills. It feels sort of strange, laughing at your own writing, arrogant almost, but I can’t help it. Clare’s hilarious.

5. Connecting with other writers. This one is a no-brainer. Writers share a special bond; the secret word that gains access to a creative clubhouse o’ fun. Despite what other people in our lives may say, no one really "gets it" like another writer. The thrill of seeing a full page of words, the smackdown wrestling match of revisions and the heartbreak of rejection. So, thank you fellow Novel Girls! You’ve been wonderful fellow passengers on the Crazy Train that is publishing!


Jillian Cantor said...

Beautifully said, Maureen! I agree whole-heartedly on all five!! And yes, it is awesome that we all got to cyber-connect -- you are a most lovely fellow Crazy Train passenger yourself :-)!!

Lesley Livingston said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.


Couldn't have said it better myself.

(And now, thanks to you, I have Ozzy wailing "Crazy Train" in my head. Thanks. I think.)