The Realities of Writing

By: on November 18, 2003 | # | Comments (3) | Something Different

Sometimes the story has to keep cooking.

Last week I was working on my article for BREAK, the magazine for STA Travel. Earlier in the week I had done the research, but it was time to write my rough draft. The first night, it just wasn't coming so I had a drink and relaxed with my friend. The second day I tried, I looked at the research and even avoided going to the movies with a friend so I could work on the assignment. Still nothing, but I felt rather grown up and responsible for not going out.

Then, on the third morning the writing came like a slot machine pay out. Smoothly, steadily. Yesterday, I turned it in. I'm hoping that I'll hear back about whether or not I'm on track.

I didn't beat myself up for the delay because one, I was still ahead of schedule. And two, it's been worse in previous years. I love what Anne Lamott says on page six of Bird by Bird.

Amazon is so cool they let you read excerpts from the book. All you have to do is search the keywords "Up at the ceiling" and you'll get to page six.

This passage is one of my favorite parts in the book. Here she talks about the the distractions that we seem to encounter as writers . But no, these things are still part of the creative process.

Begin reading 1/3 of the way down with the paragraph "'But how?' my students ask. 'How do you actually do it?'"

Now, ain't that the truth?!



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Comments

Amy  |  November 18, 2003 09:01 AM

You're right, in this instance, that Amazon feature comes in mighty handy. And I love that passage!

But this new feature has caused quite a stir among some authors. I'm curious what you think about it. Do you have any concerns about people being able to get your content for free, or that it'll impact book sales in a negative way, despite Amazon's claims?

Comments

Jen Leo  |  November 18, 2003 10:13 AM

I'm not so worried. It was a pain in the ass just to get this link to you. I was hoping that I could cut and paste it for you, but that wasn't happening. Then the next time I went to get the link, I was on a different computer and I had to sign in to even get to that page. Well, I had forgotten which email and password so I had to do all that over so I could still, just get to that inside page six.

If someone really has enough time on their hands to go through all that to read a book online, well I don't mind that much. Other authors might, but I think the numbers will be small enough. Maybe I'm just too lazy.

I've bought a few books on Amazon, usually as gifts. But I use them more frequently for research. So, I'm not one to talk about using someone for free. And I think it helps booksales if you can read a little bit more like you can flip through a book in a brick and mortar store.

As for buying books, I prefer to go to a fave indy store. That doesn't mean I never go to the chains, I'm guilty there. I like chains for their large magazine racks. Of course there are exceptions.

Comments

Chris Albon  |  November 20, 2003 06:57 AM

I love the amazon feature. I mainly buy non-fiction books for research. I think Jen Leo can back me up here, in the world of academic there is a huge ammount of authors, but a very small ammount of good authors. I find that except feature really nice is getting a feel on how well the author writes, since reading a 500 page book on post-communist tanzania IS HELL if the author can't write.


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