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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[1303] aspirations

I have recently decided to take myself seriously.

Okay, scratch that. We all know that the last thing I could possibly do is take myself seriously.

What I mean is this: I have recently decided to be more serious about my writing. And I don't mean that I plan to stop throwing ridiculous memes and tangents into my blog posts, either. Serious is entirely overrated.

So take three: I have recently decided that I am going to finish the things I've started. I am going to actively write, actively pursue writing, actively sit down, shut up, and make a word baby. And also read, but that's a given for anyone who wants to write, right?

Now you're just some novel
that I used to know.
Neil Gaiman, in a quite useful list of tips for writers, wrote, "Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it." I think most creative types are fairly good at starting things. We're all passion and excitement at the beginning. Then the honeymoon's over and there are plot holes to fill and inconsistencies to repair. In rereading the first 25 pages of the now 216 page (so far) novel I'm working on, I found at least 10 glaring errors in character, plot, and setting. This is what happens when you write the first 50,000 words of a novel in November of 2009 and don't pick it up again until March of 2012. It gets messy and frustrating, and pretty soon you've got its things in a box by the door with a nasty Dear John letter Scotch taped to the side. Dear Novel, you're dead to me. If only we could go back to the way things were.

These days my writing and I are working things out, but I'll admit it requires some accountability. So I made a Facebook page, and I'd be elated if you'd be so kind as to "like" it. I've even made this video plea to further entice you:


I leave you with this awesome quote from a letter F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote to his daughter, who was away at camp. I think it's relevant. It's worth reading all the way through, but here's just a taste:

Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about. . .

Things not to worry about:

Don't worry about popular opinion
Don't worry about dolls
Don't worry about the past
Don't worry about the future
Don't worry about growing up
Don't worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don't worry about triumph
Don't worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don't worry about mosquitoes
Don't worry about flies
Don't worry about insects in general
Don't worry about parents
Don't worry about boys
Don't worry about disappointments
Don't worry about pleasures
Don't worry about satisfactions

8 comments:

Hepner said...

One thing I'm 'not' worried about, is you finding your voice. Keep writing, we'll keep reading. You're a talent to be reckoned with. I loved the quote, now give us something to read! :)

Corrigan said...

Thank you!! That comment made my day!

Anonymous said...

I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
Steven Wright

AmericanStudier said...

Hi Corrigan,

Good stuff! Totally agree about finishing things, although I would also say that we should never feel that we have to have the end in mind or in sight when we start something--both of my books thus far went different places than I thought they would at the outset.

So I guess I'm saying be open to finishing in a totally different way, but keep that goal, yeah.

Take care,
Ben

Corrigan said...

Indeed, Ben! At this point, I'm more likely to change the beginning of my novel than the end of it. A change of direction isn't necessarily a bad thing. I suppose the end doesn't have to be in mind from the start, as long as one day the end does come. ;)

James David said...

Have you seen Walk Off The Earth's cover of that song? Purdy good.

Oh and I suppose I can go over and like your Facebook page :)

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