The Internet really likes to pretend that fun quotes belong to famous people. One I’ve noticed a lot lately is attributed to Hemingway:
“Write drunk; edit sober.”
I’m sitting in my nerd-ed out home office, where my husband banished me to write, thinking about that quote. In particular, I’m thinking about the novel that I’ve put aside for the last couple of years. At first I stopped working on it – and all other non-essential writing- because my hands were bothering me. I was using the number pad on my keyboard a lot at the time, and my right hand was beginning to ache throughout the day. Since my mom had carpal tunnel at a young age, it worried me.
That’s no longer the case. Sometimes my hands hurt more easily than they should, but I’m not having the same troubles. Trying to write again after so long, however, is intimidating. One of the purposes of this blog is to get me doing just that.
Yet that novel sits untouched, waiting for revision. I know what needs done. I know which chapter needs discarded, which needs a little love, which needs significantly more than a little love, and which needs to be removed from my head and put on paper.
But all I can think is that working on that book right now makes me want to do the exact opposite of what “Hemingway” says.
I figure that’s a bad idea. Okay, so is basing one’s writing methods on the advice of an an author, whether the quote is legitimate or not. If I’m going to do that, I should at least look to advice that resonated with me specifically.
*34 minutes later*
Okay, I’m just as bad as the rest of the Internet. I’ve been searching interview after interview with Joe Hill. I love him because he writes easily digested horror, but he writes it with such obvious care. The first page (and chapter) of “Horns” ends with a man peeing on himself, and when I read it, I thought “damn. He hooked me with that?” I read an interview with him once that stuck with me, and I can find no trace of it. I’m certain I didn’t invent it. Then again, maybe that doesn’t matter? Maybe what matters is what I got from it: If you aren’t having fun with what you’re writing, then you shouldn’t be writing it. Maybe you’ll have fun writing it tomorrow. Maybe it’s never going to be fun, so it’s not right and needs changed. Maybe the whole thing needs scrapped.
I think working on that novel will be fun again. Today isn’t the day. I need to focus on the basics, and to practice on you poor people who stumble across this blog.
I think I’ll spend the rest of the evening enjoying the environment in my office. What’s more inspiring than Halo toys, Pokeballs, an abnormally large Darth Vader figure, and all sorts of other nerdy goodness?
Maybe I’ll even write something.