Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Surrender and Dan Brown

I was over at Wyrdsmiths this morning and finally went through some of the "Smart Things" that Kelly McCullough posted yesterday, including this gem from Matt Hughes called, "No Surrender" which I whole heartedly recommend to anyone who either is just starting their writing career or in the middle of one of the many lows that come in the epicenter of it.

(Though for the record, I do find it difficult to take up a battle cry from that particular political bent from that particular country, but, alas, it does work perfectly for writers. And it in no way diminishes the point of his article.)

Also, this morning while sitting on the, ehm, "throne" I read the interview with Dan Brown (yes, that one, of Davinci Code fame,) in Entertainment Weekly. I have to count myself among his many detractors, however, I found his "screw y'all" attitude very refreshing... and I was profoundly struck by his discipline. Apparently, he gets up every morning at 4 am to write. He writes all day, but takes very regulated breaks during the day to exercise and makes time every week to work out with a personal trainer. I may not be terribly impressed with his artistry, but I can find no fault in his work ethic. You go, Dan.

I was surprised, however, that he doesn't seem to enjoy it. The article implied that after the sequel was turned in he plans to quit. At least for a while. But then I thought, well, okay. Maybe that's his thing. He just wanted to write a book and now that he's made multiple millions, he's going to retire.

The reason it struck me as so odd is that I can't imagine not writing. I think that if I made multiple millions and no one was clamoring for another book, I might retire to the life of a short story writer... or perhaps I might sit down on the French Riviera (or in my new Roman villa next to George Clooney's) and write something all for myself alone. But not make up stories? I can't imagine it.

I mean, connecting this to Mr. Hughes's inspiring article, I always thought that even if all the money dried up (which is much more likely than the multi-millions), I'd go in to a deep depression for several months (let's be honest,) and then I'd do the same damn thing: write something that I, myself find deeply satisfying. Maybe try my hand at a few shorts. But not write? I can't even picture it.

But speaking of a strong work ethic... it is now 23 days until ALMOST TO DIE FOR is due. I've still got a third of the book to go, but even if I only wrote 1,000 words a day, I'd finish with three days to spare. I'm trying to write double (at least!) so that I can get a first draft done in time for readers from Wyrdsmiths to eyeball it before it goes to my editor. Wish me luck!

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