Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thoughts on Writing (31 - 35)

31. Measuring your output against someone else's output is a game with no winners at all. Maybe you write fast. Maybe you write slow. Maybe you're somewhere in the middle. I can write an obscene number of pages on a good day, and finish it off with a song and maybe a sonnet or two. Another friend of mine considers herself to be doing amazingly well if she finishes three pages in eight hours. Neither of us is doing anything wrong. Some of the best books ever written took years to finish; so did some of the worst. Write at your own pace, and know what that pace is.

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32. Deadlines are your friends. Learn how to work to them. If you ever start publishing, you're going to be getting a lot of deadlines, and you won't necessarily have any real say in the matter. It's best if it's not a shock to the system.

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33. Learn to be gracious to everyone who helps you. Thank your proofers. Thank your editors. Thank your agent. Thank your readers. They're doing you a favor. You're also doing them a favor -- you're letting them play with your kids -- so don't be servile, but do be gracious.

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34. The only people you owe your work to are your agent, your editor, and your publishing house. Don't let anyone pressure you.

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35. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break from time to time. I pretty much write every day of my life -- I'm a junkie, and I admit it -- but there are days where the writing takes an hour in the morning, and is then set aside completely, in favor of seeing Flogging Molly perform. Sometimes, my 'writing' for the day consists of jotting notes in my planner (also known as 'Seanan's second brain'). I need those pauses to reset myself, and sometimes, to find new books in the world around me. Don't hate yourself for needing to breathe.

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