“You simply sit down at the typewriter, open your veins, and bleed.” ~ sports columnist Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith, 1949
“I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” ~ William Carlos Williams
Words come from an author “drop by drop.” ~ Reverend Sydney Smith, 1855
“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Of all that is written I love only what a man has written with his blood. Write with blood, and you will experience that blood is spirit. Whoever writes in blood and aphorisms does not want to be read but to be learned by heart.” ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, 1880s
“Writing is simple, Muffy,” says Jeff MacNelly’s Perfesser in the comic strip Shoe. “First, you have to make sure you have plenty of paper. . . sharp pencils. . . typewriter ribbon. Then put your belly up to your desk. . . roll a sheet of paper into the typewriter. . . and stare at it until beads of blood appear on your forehead.”
Yes, the life of a writer. We are familiar with how we sequester ourselves in our office equipped with our computer or even pen and paper. Our companions are our creativity, inspiration, dreams, visions, and our muse sitting on our shoulder. Oftentimes our cat or our dog sit at our feet (or walk across our keyboard!)
When I wrote my first novel, The Awakening: Rebirth of Atlantis, I told my husband not to open the door to my office where I was writing unless it was a dire emergency. I had to occasionally remind him that the question, “Where do we keep the peanut butter?” doesn’t count as an emergency.
I penned that first book in 6 weeks. Revising and editing were another matter. Years, actually. The other novels also took years.
That is why when we, as authors, receive accolades, good reviews, or letters telling us how our novel changed someone’s life, we rejoice. So, I recently rejoiced when notified my latest work was awarded. The Hidden Abbey is a finalist in the NIEA (Annual National Indie Excellence Awards) 2020 in the Visionary Fiction category. A good thing for me to celebrate, especially with my novel’s timely visionary message aimed at today’s turbulent world: embodied love.
Excerpt from the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards (NIEA) Press Release:
Winners and Finalists are determined on the basis of superior written matter coupled with excellent presentation in every facet of the final published product. Indie Excellence proudly celebrates the talent, dedication and love authors put into the book product.
Talent, dedication and love. That’s a sure recipe for writing a novel.
What is your sure recipe for writing a novel?
Which of the quotes mentioned here, above and below, is your favorite?
“You write in order to change the world…if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” ~James Baldwin
“Write what should not be forgotten.” ~Isabel Allende
“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?” ~ Anne Lamott
“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” ~Mark Twain
“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” ~Ray Bradbury, WD
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” ~ Allen Ginsburg
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” ~Harper Lee, WD
“Life is like a recycling center, where all the concerns and dramas of humankind get recycled back and forth across the universe. But what you have to offer is your own sensibility, maybe your own sense of humor or insider pathos or meaning. All of us can sing the same song, and there will still be four billion different renditions.” ~ Anne Lamott
* Editor’s note: this article was originally penned in July 2020.