Yes, Idris Elba, I should. And I will as soon as I’m done mooning over you. Maybe I’ll make you the hero in my next book and then I can stare at this pic and think of you ALL the time!
Memes are silly, funny, and inspiring. I spent a good part of Easter Sunday evening surfing the net, looking for ideas on my designated day off, and I stumbled upon these memes about writing and writers. I began to talk back to them and I decided to share my conversations with you. Sorry, I can’t tell you everything I said to Mr. Elba.
Don’t make me trade Idris for you Ryan Gosling, but what you say is so true. There was that time I’d written the best scene ever in my book, The Neon Houses. Since my Mac Book backs up automatically, I kept working for a good little while. Finally, punch drunk with fatigue, I decided to call it a night. I hit don’t save instead of save and as soon as I did it, I knew it was wrong, but I thought most of it had been saved automatically. When I opened the file, those new chapters were gone. The computer hadn’t done an auto save. I had to reconstruct, but in my heart, the rewrite just wasn’t as good as the first draft. Thank God it was just a couple of chapters.
While this meme could very well mean that it’s good to know the correct name for things or else you could end up being electrocuted, I’m taking numbers 1 through 4 out of context and making them apply to any writer. Until you’ve done the research and know the correct name, location, proper title, whatever—SUBSTITUTE. Go ahead! Call it a thingamabob, or a whatsit—just don’t stop writing to do research. If you’re on a roll, draw a blank line, come back and fill it in later. Call a character by any name while you’re writing and come back later and use the replace thingamabob on your computer to fill in the new name.
I don’t particularly agree with this one. My characters are more than imaginary friends. They’re my people! They roll with me 24/7. An imaginary friend is something a child creates out of a lonely need. Writers create real characters because they have something real to say. If my characters won’t talk to me, maybe it’s because I won’t listen. Maybe I’m trying to lead instead of follow. Perhaps I need to get out of the way and see where they want to go.
Which leads me to this guy, Jonathan Goldsmith, “the world’s most interesting man”. A bearded, debonair gentleman, Goldsmith is the suavest man to ever grace an ad campaign as evidenced by his presence in this and scads other memes.
What you say is so true, sir. Inspiration can strike me sitting in my family room as I entertain guests. While everyone is laughing and talking, I’m internally writing. Driving to a restaurant with my husband and wham! I’m creating a scene in my head and trying my best to hold on to it until I can sneak into the ladies room and whisper it into my iPhone recorder. Yes! I’m shameless. When inspiration hits and it’s 7:47 p.m., I will tell guests that I have an important call to make at 7:50 and excuse myself for a little bit.
Why did you lie to your guests, Linda? Well, I’ll tell you. It was because when I tell people the truth, that I write, invariably, they think they should write a book, too. They had a friend who wrote about two-thirds of a book, but then he got a real job.
Everybody thinks they can just decide to be a writer. I’m not knocking people’s stories, but I am saying everybody can’t do what I do. Having a story is totally different from having the ability to put it down on paper so that people not only read it, but actually understand it, and love it. That’s what I do—well it’s my dream to do that, eventually.
Now if you’ve written before and stopped, but you know that you are talented, I found some memes for you.
This one pretty much sums it up. Writing is like a lot of things that if we’d go on and do it, we’d feel so much better and we’d be so much better for it. Housework, weight loss, exercise, any of the things that take effort usually take a back seat. I never feel like writing at first. But once I get my teeth into a good story, I’m obsessed! As NIKE is so famous for saying, “Just Do It.” Don’t do what I describe in the next meme.
As soon as I wake up I reach for my iPhone on the table beside me. I look to see who has emailed, inboxed, or re-tweeted me. I spend another few minutes lying in bed scrolling, smiling, and reading text messages or posts from my favorite authors and bloggers.
Next, I go downstairs for coffee and while I’m in the kitchen, I check out Twitter to see what’s trending. I answer the phone, and write blogs like this instead of actually working on my novel. Social media is a blessing and a curse!
I’ve written an entire post about my bad habits with social media. Check it out here: http://lindamims.com/2015/11/02/will-social-media-kill-my-writing-career
I know that the fellow in this meme is the only one that’s going to work for some writers. He’s our ‘write or die’ muse and even then, some of us would probably say we gotta die from something (lazy bones). Since this guy is not going to happen, ever, I have a few suggestions to get you started on a routine.
- Set a designated time to write
- Protect, protect, protect your time and let everyone know that you are unavailable during those hours, Always.
- Put your phone on airplane mode and refuse to look at it
- Stop your email notifications. My notifications will ping and flash every incoming message across my screen. Amazing! Distracting! Annoying!
- Line all your tools up on your writing table (flash drives, reading glasses, chargers) and get started.
Agatha, who knew we were sisters. That is exactly what I do when I’m washing dishes— OR—when I go for long walks. Solitude and total focus on mundane tasks help me plot out what I want to write and help me determine if a story needs to be told. Then, I determine how to tell it.
Hope you had a great Easter and now that it’s over, it’s time to get back to work. Have a productive week! If you have a favorite writer/writing meme, please post it here. Thanks!