Friday, November 28, 2008

Topic: Sustaining Writing in Books and Projects

10-second review: How to keep up motivation in writing books and long projects.

Title: “No More Excuses—Make Time to Write.” Laura La Rocca. The Writer (December 2008), 36-37. The Writer is a magazine by writers for writers.

Quote: “Some people find that detailed outlines help keep their writing on track; others like to leave off mid-scene (or even mid-sentence) so they know what’s coming next and can jump right in the next day. Figure out what works.” p. 37.

Comment: This is a topic I have not seen addressed often—how to keep up the motivation for writing when you’re writing a novel or nonfiction book or a long project. Mark Twain suggests stopping writing and giving the project time to recharge itself. Hemingway said to stop when you know what you’re going to write next and then you’ll be excited about resuming the next day.

I think outlines in school were a real drudge, emphasizing balancing the capital and subsumed letters and numbers, instead of ideas. I know of no better way to plan a major writing project than the outline. Tweaking the outline is necessary, but don’t let it become an excuse for not writing. I realize now how developing a detailed outline would have improved my book
. RayS.

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