Now that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has begun, many
crazy people writers are willingly disrupting their lives, sneaking peeks at their WIPs during their day jobs, imposing upon testy patient family members, and imbibing large quantities of caffeine. While I’m not one of them, they are certainly inspiring to watch!
So inspiring, in fact, that it’s time to share the:
3 Yoda-isms for Writers
…who better than the Jedi Master himself to guide the
misguided valiant wielders of lightsabers pens?
“Size matters not.” (All right, you romance writers out there, stop snickering)
Sure, easy enough for a pointy-eared little green dwarf who can twirl and jump faster than a Sikorsky helicopter to say, but what about us writers? You know, we humble folk with a Klout score of 15 and 5 Facebook fan page “likes” (and Mom being one of them)? Don’t we need Klout, Facebook and Twitter for writing?
Nope. Not for the writing.
It’s you, your keester in the chair, the computer, and a power connection. That’s it. NYTBS James Rollins has to smack his derriere in the chair, just like the rest of us, in order to make his word count for the day/week/millenium. Sure, social media and writer support are absolutely beneficial, and important for making connections to readers, but it has never been about numbers. There are people on the other side of the numbers, after all. Just about everyone dipping his/her toe in the twitterverse/blogosphere has had the experience of ONE fabulous reader comment or tweet making their day.
Also keep in mind that the NaNoWriMo-ers are practically ignoring the internet this month. Why? Because they need to get busy, alone. (Although I hope they’ll have time to read Yoda’s final words of wisdom).
“Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
This one is for all of you folks who are fighting with a character who will NOT cooperate, or have just re-read yesterday’s 2,000 hard-fought words and realize they totally suck.
You gave up watching “Hawaii Five-O” to write totally horrid, trite scenes with stilted dialogue?! You gnash your teeth. What a waste!
A waste? I think NOT! Consider it time well spent: you are merely flushing the suck-y-ness out of your writing system. Ever prime a well-water pump? Are you going to drink what comes out first? Heck no – it’s brown and yucky. But you can’t get the clear, drinkable stuff until you’ve flushed out the yuck. Besides, there’s enough suffering in the world (and in the world of your novel, too, if you are doing your job). Relax.
Here’s a video by YA author Maureen Johnson, titled “Dare to Suck,” that will inspire you:
“Do or do not. There is no try.”
“Try” is a hedge against failure. “I tried to write a novel” will get you a pat on the back (if you’re lucky) from a sympathetic family member. Efforts are important, but why be afraid of failure? Failure shows effort, too. When one says “try,” the doubt is built into it already. It’s the wincing before the expected blow comes.
But “doing” – ah, that’s hard-wired into our human DNA. The doers survived, not the try-ers. No early-human came back from a hunt saying “I tried to avoid being killed by a saber-toothed tiger.”
So take Yoda’s advice (not Nike’s) and just do it – and then succeed gloriously, or fail gloriously. No fear. (I’ve got one of those “glorious failures” on a flashdrive I can show you, lol). Take a look at Kristen Lamb’s post Failure – the Forge of Excellence to see why failure doesn’t leave you empty-handed.
So there you have it, Yoda’s gems of wisdom. There are more, but that’s another post.
When have you taken a risk? How hard was it, and how did it turn out?
Good luck, NaNaoWriMo-ers!
Until next time,