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Monday, March 21, 2011

More Crazy-Pants Talk

*If the title sounds more random than usual, check out Janiel's last post.

Was it Michaelangelo who said that when he sculpted from marble, the finished statue was already there, he just had to remove the superfluous pieces? I think it's the same with writing. Stephen King described stories as "found things." (Not that I'm comparing myself to Stephen King. Or Michaelangelo.) The story is there, somewhere. We, the writers, just have to find it, catch it, and then write it down; chip away all that extra marble, as it were. (Chipping marble is hard work, by the way. Maybe that's why it's taking me so long to write my book.)

Every now and then, I hear voices: sentence snippets, a character talking. But when that happens, it's like it didn't even come from my own brain, more like someone else put it there. It's pretty weird and a little freaky, in a good way. This doesn't mean writing is a passive process. No story would ever get done if it were. When I do get those rare flashes of brilliant inspiration (which I don't take credit for, since they don't come from my own brain), I think maybe that's the story nudging me along, reminding me that it's still alive.

But those long, desert stretches in between - that's all me, baby. For better or worse, that's me doing my darndest to chip away the marble and write down what I find underneath. Because as Jack London so wisely and brutally pointed out, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

Not that I'm comparing myself to Jack London.

13 comments:

1 Funky Woman said...

Sounds to me you are going for it! Hopefully people will get out of your way when they see you swinging that club. Good luck with the book! I believe all writers have other people in their heads helping them along. Hey when help is given always take it!

I would totally read your book! I really love you three and this blog! It is an inspiration!

Megan

Siv Maria said...

Hi I am your newest follower from mondays blog hopp. As a new blogger and hopper I have found so many interesting and wonderful places to explore. It was refreshing to find a blog that wasn't all about mommies and coupons.Hope you visit me too. Have a great week!

Jessica said...

Just found your blog through the monday blog hop - LOVE IT! I'm looking forward to reading it all. :)Oh, and I'm following too.

aimee said...

Hi! New follower of your awesome blog. Found your blog from the blog hop. HOpe you follow me back! Thanks! :)
http://aimee-girltalk.blogspot.com

Marcy said...

I've been writing a book for about a year now. Whenever I get stuck, I stop and write something else, a short story, a joke, a poem...SOMETHING different. I find that this helps in finding my head on the right track again!

:)
Marcy

mymy said...

"...go after it with a club." lol. yeah, i should do that sometimes. just sometimes. ;P

mymy

Romina Garcia said...

I concur!!
Watch out world :-)
Can't wait to read what comes next!

shelly said...

Yup. Writing can be a long process. Right now, I'm filling in the plot holes in mine. DO you ever get tired of people asking you when you'll be finished. I do. It drives me nuts. It's not like anyone can write a novel over night. Well, may an outline of one.

Janiel Miller said...

Thanks for all your comments!

Marcy - that's such a great way to refresh. I need to do it more often. I get stuck in a determined little hole . . .

Shelly - I can't speak for Russo and Maegan, but It drives ME crazy. Mostly because my book is taking forever. I just smile and say, "It's a process."

Although, I do know of writers--Sara Larson, for one--who can whip books out in three weeks. No idea how.

Ah well. Just keep writing, writing, writing . . .

Siv Maria said...

Hi, I have an award for you to pick up :) http://sivmaria.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-first-award.html

Maegan Langer said...

Shelly, I certainly get tired of asking myself when it's going to be finished! Sigh. You're right: writing is a long process. But then so is life :)

Russo said...

Maegan! Oh my goodness, you said everything I needed to hear. How did I get so lucky to have you and Janiel in my life. I am grateful for you, girl!

Maegan Langer said...

I'm grateful for YOU, Russo!