Monday, 21 November 2011

Things to Deal With

When writing, there are, inevitably, things that we have to come to terms with. At least if we want to stay remotely sane. Some of these things (like the part where we don’t have the talent of our favourite writer) will be big. Some of these things (like the universe’s ability to spontaneously generate paperclips) will be small. Here are just a few:

1. We don’t create in a vacuum. At least not without a spacesuit. Very few ideas are massively, hugely original, and waiting around for one that is unlike any other idea ever can cause significant delays. Better to get started and trust to your talents to make it unique.
2. Someone will hate your novel. Novels I have ghostwritten have received five star reviews. Novels I have ghostwritten have received one star reviews. Often, the same novel is involved. You cannot control how people will react to a piece. You can only put out the best work you can and hope that it is enough, then try to honestly assess what happened afterwards.
3. You will not always meet your writing word count goals. This is okay.
4. Your novel will not be perfect when you send it out, despite your efforts. There will always, always be some niggling little thing. If you wait for it to be perfect, you will wait a long time.
5. There will be things you dislike as you write them, but which you will like later. The reverse is also true.
6. You will never be able to prevent yourself from justifying a raid on the house’s biscuit supplies mid chapter.
7.  The novel will never look quite the same on paper as in your head.
8.  People will get the names and looks of your characters wrong, then insist that you have gotten them wrong.
9.  Big ideas written down after dreams will never make sense in the morning light.
10.  Any word learned from a word a day thing will find a way to show up at least five times in one paragraph.

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