Twitter can be a lot of things: a cesspool, a time sink, the repository of amazing cat videos. But my Friday Twitter gave me all sorts of motivation – a gentle but firm reminder that writing is hard, but what else are you going to do with your time? Scroll through Twitter all day?
I’ll share, and you can see if anything resonates with you.
The first tweet is from DongWon Song of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, who links to a Substack essay ostensibly about empathy when critiquing, but contains the startling metaphor that a professional chef ignores little burns and cuts, while the home chef may feel differently about blood on the counter or some blisters. If you’ve had your feelings hurt by the publishing business (and let’s face it, you don’t avoid the burns and blisters by self-publishing, either), you might like reading the whole essay. Tough, but it feels true. Here’s the tweet with the link:
Feeling like a failure? @ShaxxMotivation reminds us that finishing is one goalpost, but not the only goalpost. “WRITERS HAVE DOZENS OF SCRAPPED STORY IDEAS” and “THESE THINGS ARE PRACTICE, NOT FAILUREs” Finishing is one of my big problems. When I do finish longer pieces, it sometimes feels rushed, like I was just racing to get the damn story done and get it out of my head. Probably because that’s exactly what I do. I’d like to say it’s very reminiscent of an early Alice Hoffman novel . . . but that’s rather rarified air I’m breathing there. At any rate, I have lots of practice. I should be doing a for-realsies any time now. Shaxx Motivation’s tweet is something I needed to see.
Every good story needs three magic beans, and it just so happens that Friday brought three magic tweets for me. The third one by C.G. Drews (author of The Boy Who Steals Houses) made me laugh, but it also conveys one of my personal writing truths: write it fast before it gets away. She starts out with immensely practical, every-standard-writing-blog advice . . . but then treats the book like a tired child. Distract it! Write fast! Give it a sticker for cooperation! I have tried and failed to make sticker charts in the past (only digital ones seem to work for me, and 45 days is my limit). But maybe the story-changeling can be bribed with hot cocoa. Sit down and write it fast before the warming beverage cools . . . . The comments to the thread are also well worth a look.
I hope I get some writing in today. I have at least two WIPs that I’m interested in finishing, and maybe I’ll figure out why I don’t. I will definitely be writing a poem for a birthday, and then Sunday stretches out like a long, golden vista full of fruit and honey. A box of bandages, some unfinished WIPs and a delicious drink, and who knows what I can accomplish this weekend? Wishing you all the best on your writing adventures, too.