Sunday, 11 October 2009
Writing Quotes I Love
I love writing quotes. Here's one that's particularly apt at the moment:
It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.
C. J. Cherryh
This is sooooo true for me, and of course for all of us, but especially for me right now because I'm embarking on my second Grand Revision of the dreaded Magnum Opus. There's a lot of stuff I thought was bloody brilliant when I penned it a few months back that on re-reading is...well, let's just say it isn't quite as good as I first thought. OK it's shit. But as the quote says, it DOESN'T MATTER because I'm going to edit it into something better. Hopefully a lot better.
Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him out to the public.
Boy, I can relate to this. I think I'm now at the tyrant stage.
The last revision was all wild excitement, the fevered headlong rush to get words typed up before the Muse deserted me. Not unlike a love affair (I imagine, she adds hastily).
But this time round it's taken a good girding of the loins to face this ravening beast. Now I'm well into it, I at last have some momentum, but starting was HARD. And inspiration is elusive.
Eighty percent of success is showing up.
I particularly like this one, not just because I'm a woody fan. In fact it's all that keeps my arse in the chair some days, when I'd rather be off picking daffodils or cavorting over sand dunes. Keep going. Take a step every day and guess what - eventually you'll get somewhere.
Just as long as it isn't Wester Hailes.