Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Write from your heart

Write from the gut, not from fear of prejudice.

I am tempted to just keep reading this article every day. Not only is it a very sweet road-to-publication story about writing the book of your heart, but I was particularly struck by the ending paragraphs:

Now, I’m not telling you this story to prove that getting a book about a queer character published is easy. Getting published in general is not easy, and sure, some things may make a manuscript a harder sell to some editors. But you know how you can make your manuscript stand out? It’s really pretty simple. Write the best book you can. Work hard on your craft. And tell a story you believe in.

In many ways, this goes against the majority of what we’re told about capitalism, marketing, and promotion. But I have to break it to you: Creative writing is not a lucrative field; it’s an art. There is no way you can focus group your way to a genuine, heartfelt story. The only way to get there is to listen to your gut — and your heart — and do what it tells you.

So this is what I think you should say when people tell you it’s harder to publish a book with non-”mainstream” themes or characters: SO WHAT. And then go back to your computer or notebook and finish that novel.

I need to remind myself that NaNoWriMo is about one very specific thing, and one thing only: to churn out words like there's no freaking tomorrow. This NaNo draft is going to be completely unrecognizable from the final, perfect version you have in your head. This month is all about getting words onto the page that can act as a springboard. You can't edit a blank page. Don't lose sight of your end goal, and keep walking against the wind to get there. Worry about making it perfect once you've already reached the end. And don't forget, this month is supposed to be FUN. If you're not having any fun, you're doing it wrong.

But after this month is over, keep working to turn the messy, godawful draft into the book of your heart.

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