On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Inspiration, Finish One Start Another Immediately

PhotobucketI met a woman at the retreat (I don't think she'll be reading this, and if she does I don't plan on being uncomplimentary) who had great success with her first book...several years ago. It came pouring out of her, she said. And she had some local success with a play that did the same and was performed.

I know she was there to figure out how to do this on a more regular basis, and I don't think I helped her by telling her about Connie Willis. I know Connie fairly well, and she once told me she needed a "critical mass" before a book was ready to write. Whether that is still true or not, I don't know. But I do have a suspicion that she practices her craft every day. And I'm pretty sure she writes even if the work doesn't pour through her.

Bottom line, and every writer from me to Nora Roberts and Stephen King is that you can't wait for inspiration. If you want to be a full-time, employed writer, you write every day. (Ok, I occasionally skip a day or a week, but I know in my bones that I am under deadline and CAN take a break and write -- sometimes the doubting me doesn't think so, but I have past evidence) When you reach author stage you have deadlines, and unless you are a great talent like Douglas Adams, you don't listen to them whiz by. So you can't depend on the muse or inspiration.

Also, it's been my experience that as a writer is finishing one book, other ideas temptingly slither through her/his mind. Good. Sketch them out and the day after you finish writing and/or revising FOR PUBLICATION, pick one and start on them.

Heavy advice for this morning, but I woke up several times during the night and still seem to be on Eastern Time. On the mundane front, I knew there was a skunk eating from the feral cat food dish, but it seems as if something frightened it. In my backyard.

So, that's me, and I got up because I had a couple of lines I needed to insert into the book about Vinni T'Vine's Flair to explain something, so I'm off. Then I think I'll look for petite robes on ebay. This drawing a bath and getting dressed to write, then undressed for the bath seems counterproductive.

May inspiration flood you today (and me, too!)


Blogger Catie said...

And I, unlike Douglas Adams, do not enjoy the whooshing sound deadlines make as they go rushing by. Perhaps if I were a talent as great as he was... :)


6:04 AM  
Blogger Suzane in VT said...

I had a good laugh last night reading the posts on the "Plot Bunny Day Care Center" link on NaNo. Now THAT was something for inspiration!

I received a spiral notebook from a friend last year for Yule that has a ransom note from my Plot Bunnies on the cover stating they are holding my muses until I start writing my PB's in the book. Haven't written anything in there yet, but have learned that if I don't write ideas down when they come to me on whatever is available or sit down at the keyboard and flesh them out right at that moment they will nearly instantly disapate in my mush-for-brains memory.

Yes, somedays I find I can't write for beans, while others, like this morning's typing frenzy before leaving for work, they flow faster than a stream during the spring snow melt. And besides the adage that you have-to-write-a-million-words-before-you'll-get-published thing, I'm finding that doing some sort of musing each day is keeping me sane vs. the insanity of my full-time job (bookkeeping). Writing is becoming a great therapy for me.

NaNoWriMo current WC 20,852 (Arianlee)

8:55 AM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Ah, Catie, I was "late" (though not so late as to miss schedules which would truly have been horrible) with several of my books and I never liked it.

Suzane, ;) I once lost and tracked down a wonderful (I think) idea, and got it down and at least it is now on the computer. I don't know if you did The Artist's Way, but it is also excellent, thought the morning pages must be handwritten.

Take care and may the plot bunnies stalk you!

9:23 AM  
Blogger Suzane in VT said...

No, I hadn't heard of it before, but just checked it out and it does look interesting.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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8:24 PM  

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