The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always. —Arthur Miller
And now a year’s passed since the idea for Starshine first struck. A year that wrought seven chapters, roughly half the novel. Distracted much? Of course. No use in crafting excuses, it’s simply a matter of prioritization. I don’t write for a living, I write for pleasure. I spend my free leisure time doing pleasurable things, and writing isn’t the only pleasurable thing I do. I may say I want to be a career writer, but apparently it’s not a burning want (yet). I can only say that right now, I write in due time. When I’m supposed to… and that’s not on a set schedule. I enjoy life and keep returning to the story to move with it, breathe with it, and listen to it speak. What it eventually becomes will be a pleasure to see. This is all I know and for now, it is enough.
Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove somehow remain.
Writing a novel is like living in a house full of ghosts — even when you ignore them, they’re still there, waiting to talk to you. They have all the time in the world. No matter how much you avoid them, the time comes when you have to confront them. Hear them out. See what they have to say. Over time, their features become clearer, their voices stronger, their histories richer, their lives fuller.
– LAILA LALAMI
We suggest that whenever anyone sits down to write he should imagine a crowd of his prospective readers (rather than a grammarian in cap and gown) looking over his shoulder. They will be asking such questions as: “What does this sentence mean?” “Why do you trouble to tell me that again?” “Why have you chosen such a ridiculous metaphor?” “Must I really read this long, limping sentence?” “Haven’t you got your ideas muddled here?” By anticipating and listing as many of these questions as possible, the writer will discover certain tests of intelligibility to which he may regularly submit his work before he sends it off to the printer.
– ROBERT GRAVES and ALAN HODGE
All the time I’m not writing I feel like a criminal…. It’s much more relaxing to actually write.