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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Carpe dictum

I'm not sure if that actually means anything, but I think it means "sieze the word," which is a good theme for the day since I hope to sieze a whopping 3,000 words before the end of the day. Five hundred words per hour is not unreasonable, except that I'm hoping they will be good words. Or at least decent words that might be fit for revising into something better when I get to the next draft.

I confess, I'm getting a bit anxious to move on to that next draft these days. Here I am, in the home stretch, and I've discovered a writing phenomenon worthy of Einstein: time slows down as you approach the dramatic climax. Every word becomes excruciating, like tearing off your own fingernails. I find myself avoiding the pain by adding scenes to the middle (which, all things considered, is probably not a terrible thing). Or by digging out that craft article I wrote a while back that would be just perfect for Highlights ... maybe I should set the novel aside for a bit and work on shorter, less thorny projects.

It is times like these that I try to take my own advice (in fact, I just uploaded a slew of writing articles to my website). Just do it ... pick something and stick to it ... the only way out is through ... the crappiest thing you write is better than the most brilliant thing you don't. Best of all, if it sucks, you can delete it later. If I die before I get a chance to revise, only my husband knows my password, and I trust him not to publish anything that falls into the dreaded SFD category.

I really do want to send out that Highlights article, because it's nice to get paid once in a while and even nicer to see one's writing in print. But it's unlikely to rock anyone's world or touch someone's heart - prospects which make even fingernail-pulling a worthwhile pursuit.

1 comment:

  1. Keep going Holly! I love Carpe dictum!

    Kirby's blog mentions Jack Gantos and his pirate saying: Read or Rot...but you don't get to read right now!! Just keep writing.

    And then you are ready for a cupcake.