writing

Lauren Myracle

Lauren Myracle, best-selling author of the Internet Girls series (ttyl, ttfn, etc.) says this about her incredible first novel Kissing Kate (recently re-issued):

“It came neither quickly nor easily. When I pick up books at the bookstore, they always seem so glossy and enticing, so polished, and sometimes, I have the despairing thought that words leapt cleanly from the author’s mind to the page—snap, just like that. This was certainly not the case for me. I mention this because some of you are writers, too. Keep plugging away, and keep the faith!”

Did she not read my mind or what? I mean, those are my exact thoughts. I expect my first drafts to come out perfect, ready to sell, already saleable and marketable. I put all kinds of pressure on myself when I write stuff I KNOW is crap, but needs to get out anyway.

When I hear of a best-selling author’s struggles, I feel so much more faith that I’m not so much different than she or he is. So I have to try to forget about their degrees from Columbia and NYU and their MFAs and concentrate on writing well. Write well. Famous words from the newly retired Miss Snark.

I can do this. I WILL do this. :)

As James Thurber said: Don’t get it right, get it written. Time for me to stop obsessing over perfection and sales, and time to focus on telling an amazing, captivating story.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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Thinking About My Writing Career

Quite honestly, I feel intimidated. So many authors I look up to have either been professors, or they’ve gone to Ivy League schools such as Columbia or Yale. And then there’s me, working an entry-level job at age 32 and with eight years of work experience, with a BA in Psychology from Ohio State University. I don’t really have an impressive CV, so I start to wonder if I have the smarts to make it as an author.

And the lack of discipline is really a challenge. It’s hard, though, after working all day, to come home and try to create. So I wonder, because I am whining so much about how much my brain is fried at the end of the day, if I really want this?

Good books. I want to write good books, but it’s so hard. It looks easy. It seems like it should be easy. The planning and the ideas is fun. The researching is amazing. The actual writing? OH MY GOD. Let’s just say… um, yeah. It sucks ass.

Ass, I say.

But I know I can do it. I KNOW it. I just need to sit my bootie down and focus.

halseanderson said she has different sizes of jeans. Big jeans for when she’s writing, because she has to bribe herself with snacks. Smaller jeans for revising, because revising is fun. I know that writergrl has her days of wanting to crawl under the desk and whimper. I know firsthand the things adamselzer goes through to make a good book. If those authors go through that, then I shouldn’t be feeling so alone, right?

But I do feel alone. I feel like my turn won’t ever come, mostly due to my fault of not either producing stuff that’s good enough, or producing nothing at all. Both of which is my own fault, both things I can fix with hard work and DISCIPLINE.

Discipline, because getting halfway to my goal and having the almost irresistable urge to bail is BAD. I’ve got to push through, be willing to write thousands of words that may be thrown out someday just so I can get to know my characters, develop them, and mold them into something readable and saleable.

Because quite honestly? I have no intention of working in anybody’s office (except my own) for the rest of my life. This is a decision I just recently made. What this means is that I have GOT to focus, I have got to work my ass off, because writing is the only way I’m going to be able to do that. I want the whole package. I love copy editing, I do. But I don’t want to have to answer to the rigid rules of an office atmosphere. Ideally, I’d be able to survive off of writing novels and freelance editing, but I know that I have to really hunker down to be at that point.

I miss having a writing friend who I can dish about all this stuff with. :( And I don’t mean just the technical stuff, but all the crazy, emotional stuff too.

Just as an FYI, I made a MySpace for writing: http://myspace.com/ronnithewriter When it asks for the last name, put in Davis. Security measure, you know. To avoid the spammers and scammers.

Anyway, I’m off for now. ‘Til next time.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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181

From http://www.marilynsachs.com:

“One final word of encouragement to those of you who are cowardly, cry babies, and liars, as I was. These are extremely promising qualities for future writers. If you are a coward, you will probably spend more time at the library than you would ordinarily, and if you tell lies, it just shows that you have an imagination even if others don’t always appreciate it. Cry babies tend to be sensitive, which is also a plus for writers.”

The bolded ones are surely me. Two out of three ain’t bad, huh?

I still spend at hours at the library (I go at least once a week), and I was such a cry baby in fifth grade that I thought it was an accomplishment to go through one day without bursting into tears over something or another. I’m still pretty leaky, if you want to know the truth.

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Laurie Halse Anderson!! :) (Pictures)

Today, I got to meet Laurie Halse Anderson (aka halseanderson), bestselling author of the novel Speak, among many other great ones, including her new one Twisted.

Laurie Halse Anderson and me.

I’m a dork, so I was the first one there. People were setting up, and let me tell you how weird it was to be in a high school again. Upper Arlington High School doesn’t have bells, they have this weird bell-like sounding device. Like a simulation bell, if you will. So strange and unsettling. I wouldn’t want to hear that while running late for class, that’s for sure. Quick poll—if any of you are still in high school, do you use bells or weird electronic bell simulators? I’ve never seen or heard such a thing before.

ANYWAY, I was standing there and chatting with a few people, and then I recognized Laurie. She had on a smart leather jacket and a cool red shirt. I smiled at her and she pointed and asked “don’t I recognize you from Live Journal?” I said “Yes, I’m bananagirl—” and she ran over and gave me the biggest hug ever. It was so cool! We chatted for a bit, and then a brand new author showed up. Her name’s Lisa Klein and she wrote the book with the gorgeous cover called Ophelia. I’d seen the book in the stores and thought it looked interesting, but now that I’ve met Lisa, I’m definitely going to pick it up at some point. Lisa is so quiet and shy, but once she said something about having a published YA novel, Laurie and I were both “Really? Tell us more!!!” I got to meet two authors in one night. What a treat!

So we tried to do pictures, then I realized I’d left my CF card at home. ACK?!?!? I had twenty minutes, so I ran home and got it, and also my copy of adamselzer‘s book, to show to the owners of the bookstore who were sponsering Laurie’s signing. (Adam, the owner is pretty sure they’ve already ordered your book, but she did take down the information just in case they haven’t). When I came into the auditorium, Laurie, who was in the middle of a sentence, stopped and said “oh, hey Ronni!” That was kind of cool.

Laurie Speaking

Laurie Speaking

I love the irony she talked about. She hated The Scarlet Letter when she was in high school, and in some schools, Speak is being taught in conjunction with it. Crazy, right?

She’s such a good speaker. She’s inspirational. She’s friendly and grounded and super smart. She’s also quite gorgeous. I really enjoyed talking with her, and listening to her, and getting to hang out with her for a bit. She signed my book with a very inspirational message, and I’m still floating. I’m going to make note of this, make it my mantra, make it my LIFE: Pre-publication is a temporary condition.

Thank you, Laurie, for an awesome Sunday evening! ♥

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