Quotes To Chew On, Edition 1.
July 1, 2010

This will be a regular feature, so come back, ya’ hear?

I LOVE quotes. I love how a few lines can alter our perception, change our perspective, lift us up, or lead to a eureka! moment.

I love the magic in words.

Writing means revealing oneself to excess … This is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why even night is not night enough. … I have often thought that the best mode of life for me would be to sit in the innermost room of a spacious locked cellar with my writing things and a lamp. Food would be brought and always put down far away from my room, outside the cellar’s outermost door. The walk to my food, in my dressing gown, through the vaulted cellars, would be my only exercise. I would then return to my table, eat slowly and with deliberation, then start writing again at once. And how I would write! From what depths I would drag it up!

~Franz Kafka 

 What joy for writing leaps from his words!

It reminds me of my twenties when I wrote for no one but myself. Hunkered down in a cross-legged trance in front of a crackling fire, candlelight dancing into the wee hours, new worlds and ideas unfurled; I couldn’t fight the flow, nor go a day without creating.

I was extra-proud of the permanent ink smudging my left hand and treasured the callus on my middle finger where the pen rested religiously.

It’s not as if I’ve lost that love, or lost that feeling. However, when a writer begins to write with publication in mind, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to hold on to those same freedoms.

So, on that note, Writers, I ask you take this vow with me:

I will never let aspirations of publication rob the unadulterated joy I feel when I write.

Until next time, dream big and write your heart out!

*Exclamation points used on purpose. I happen to like exclamation points.

Honking at you from Query Road,

Me, who else?

Postcards From Query Road.
March 18, 2009

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.” 

Albert Einstein

As a struggling (but still-hopeful) writer on Query Road, there’s nothing to stop you from taking your car at one hundred miles an hour and plowing it into the next tree, as you gather rejection letter after rejection letter. Symbolically and deep down, where those crises of confidence and self-esteemless moments lurk, it stings to have The Gatekeepers of Hopes and Dreams not even slam the door in your face, but refuse to open it in the first place. 

While we as writers try hard not to take it personally, it can take an uber-steady will to separate rejection from our hopes and dreams. As we hope agents will make at least a little fuss over our polished offerings, and dream of one day holding our book in our hands all fresh and pink and full of promise, there remains a fine, sketchy line between heart and publication.

So, put it on cruise-control, worthy writers, and take in the scenery. It’s really true what they say about it not being the destination but the journey. As you bravely collect rejection letters yet remain steadfast in your quest, you are learning, growing, marinating, maturing and earning your “masters degree” in self-confidence, hard work, persistence and patience — all things that will not only make you a better writer, but a better person who writes. 

And a better driver as you cruise down Query Road, bopping to the tunes and spying the perfect turn-off for a picnic — a writer has to eat, after all — where, on the grassy slope, the light bulb goes off, as you’ve just thought of an idea for your next novel.

What a lucky writer you are, indeed.

 “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Albert Einstein