I use a lot of memes on the blog (weekly, in my What Do You Think segment, as conversation starters) cos I like them.
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Okay, so were were talking about writerly memes…
Short, simple (usually) and to the point. I read a meme that connects with me and I want a t-shirt made of it and a poster for my office, that’s how cool memes are.
And some of you are memers, so you know what I mean, but here’s a few of my favorites and what they mean to me, not in any particular order. (Image first, then my take on it.)
Let’s get started.
I really believe we bring our life experiences to our work, and we should do more of it. I do it, as some of you have seen, but not enough. Many, many times, a passage that really connects with a reader – as told to me by critique partners or a beta reader – was an actual piece of my life lifted up from my heart and put back down on the page. Use your life in your writing. It doesn’t imply you’re no good at making stuff up.
It really is, isn’t it? Putting your stuff out there for people to possibly laugh at or ridicule… faith is an understatement, but it’s a pretty good word, and it means you’re brave for doing this stuff. Remember that.
Succeed or fail, your name is on that book. You’d better love it. Every stinking word.
For my perfectionist friends. At some point you have to stop polishing and publish. At some point, it doesn’t get better it just gets different.
I use this every day to get me to write on days I didn’t want to or didn’t have a good idea. When a master lays down an imperative, there may be something to it. Write every day. Even if it’s two sentences, write every day.
I love this for its simplicity. Have fun on your blog or Facebook or Twitter, or don’t do it – but your fans will eventually find you. So do it how you want.
I always thought it just mean to be a radical. Woo! Party! Get drunk and write, you radical party guy! No, it means write with abandon and then edit with austerity. Be flat out craaaay when you write. Make up words. Express every feeling no matter how embarrassing, then edit it – not to remove that stuff, but to make it legible and poignant. When CP’s see paragraphs and say it touched them or that they really like it, many were brought about from this type of abandon that was later refined. I should do it more.
Sad but true. People will understand pain if you’re honest about it. It will move them to tears.
So true. Enthusiasm and motivation are fleeting at times, so understand their importance.
Huge. It’s almost imperceptible how important this is. This is voice. This is ‘tude. This is greatness. This is that quality people can’t quite explain that makes a writing unique, and we all have it, but it does take practice for it to work, just like a great actor or comic or sculptor or painter, the working on the craft is also what makes it, but knowing your way of saying things, and that you do have a unique way, is special.
This one falls into a broad category where there are ten sayings almost exactly like it. Basically, get off your ass and do it already! I always tell people I’ll be glad to help them. In person, I’ve told hundreds. So far ONE in-person would-be writer has taken me up on it. I hated it, cos it was a piece of crap, but 1 time wasn’t a bad deal for hopefully inspiring hundreds.
Simply, put, we are all genetically so similar that you can come to understand a murderer or a lover or a fighter or a comedian if you try. So try, and write your rage or humor honestly, and it’ll probably get there.
Thank God I didn’t quit when things were tough. We all have that happen, so be aware and do what you have to do to get through it.
I know, right? Don’t quit, push on. Good stuff waits around the corner! Stopping in the shit means staying in the shit.
Brilliant, a thousand times over. I want this on a t-shirt. Goes along with throwing rocks at your characters. Brilliant. Brilliant! BRILLIANT!
Which is what makes a story interesting. Try it. Your life will change because your stories CHANGE. Suddenly, what you write is a lot more interesting. It’s an imperative. Words to live by. Rocks. Lots of rocks.
You really do. Hunt it down and wrestle it, don’t wait for it. Life is full of distractions and next thing you know it’s three years and you’re still finishing novel 1 chapter 10. Go after it with a club. Make it your bitch.
and I don’t want to be nothing. Do you?
This gives us permission to write our early works…
This is probably where my own quote, that if it’s funny enough you can do anything (in your writing) – came from.
also known as “assume your reader is smart”
this gives you permission to be lengthy
It’s almost too cute because it’s pithy and humorous but it’s extremely GREAT, AMAZINGLY AWESOME advice from a real master. Push yourself to the scary places, places where you are uncomfortable going. I have done it a few times and so far nobody’s come to the house with pitchforks and torches. The near death scene in Savvy Stories, the sex scenes in Poggibonsi, the awkward teen sex scenes in The Water Castle… risk has a reward. You’d think I love writing about sex but it’s really very scary for me; my CP’s will remember a kiss – ONE KISS – taking 8 rewrites. I’ve come a long way, and so can you – and not just about sex. About anything that’s off limits in your daily life. When you feel like a scene is going too far and putting YOU into an uncomfortable zone, you’re connecting at a different level with your reader and it’ll come through to them. That’s the fruit.
This gives you permission to not say everything in chapter one, and to remember to sprinkle in a few surprises along the way.
Bullshit contests are bullshit, and hard work pays off. I have an author friend I admire greatly for being a role model of this.
So finish it and publish it!
I discovered this by accident and I’d write every day as though this were tattooed on my forehead. When I made ONE character act this way, she became the favorite of everyone who read the story. (Yes, it was Sam in Poggibonsi.) You can do it, too. It’s exhilarating. You must do it. This is a t-shirt, poster, type of concept. You must do this. I’ll do it more.
I think we end where we began; a lot of these have similar cousins said by other people. in the end, make sure you love what you wrote. everybody else can help you love it a little more, but you need to love it, so do.
Go there. It’s worth it. This may be the most important one of all, so I saved it for last. Put yourself out there. Go for it.
There are more but this is plenty.