pearl of wisdom

“The real secret is to do it because you love writing rather than because you love the idea of being a Writer.” – Iain Banks (Guardian Unlimited, Feb 7th, 2008)

15 responses to “pearl of wisdom

  1. Heh, how funny, since I just wrote a post saying much the same thing but a thousand words longer.
    That’s so true. Thanks for posting that.

  2. Agreed. Then he goes on about how easy it is and whilst this may be relatively true (as opposed to, say, working down a coal mine or in bomb clearance) I may still have to punch him next time I see him.

  3. That’s perfect, actually. And correct.

  4. Absolutely true! I love that. :*)

  5. Amen! Though I’m not sure that someone in love with the idea of writing rather than writing would see themselves in that statement. They always seem clueless as they wail about the agony of writing and make excuses to not sit down and write.

  6. Bradley Whitford says that about acting all the time. 😀

  7. Nope. Sorry. It’s the high you get when you see that book in print, or when you know you’ve made that sale and an editor wants to publish something you’ve written for real money. And, when you cash that check.
    Writing is lonely, and if you’ve been doing it for over fifteen years carpel tunnel usually sets in, and then it’s even more difficult. I think we do it because we can, and it’s that simple.
    It’s a nice concept though, and if I’m ever on Oprah I’ll give her a warm hug and say the very same thing, with a huge smile 🙂

  8. That sounds great, and the funny thing is, as I am becoming more of a writer and less of a piddler, I’m finding it to be very true. Of course I want to get published, and that will be its own brand of thrill–but the hours I spend poring over my words, either fresh from my noodle, or revisited after months (or years!)–the more I’m finding I enjoy it. For itself, not so much the title.
    And in that vein–Jennifer, you’ve been so helpful, and I’m hoping you can answer a quickie for me–in my becoming a better writer mode, I’ve trimmed the heck out my my current project, women’s fiction (two characters got lifted right out of the book!), and now stand at about 65K words. I have a spot I need to add to, and that will bring it closer to 66K. Is this too short to be considered, or is it going to be turned down on query by many agents just on the number? (I can build it some, but I don’t want to add words for the sake of words, obviously.)
    I’d really appreciate your opinion.

    • Not padding for the sake of padding is certainly sensible — it’s often too easy for a reader to tell when that’s occurred. The length you mention is a bit on the short side for women’s fiction which tends to be more towards the 80-120K length, but if you have written a powerful enough story, the length will not stop the right agent from taking a chance on it. Hope that helps.

  9. “The real secret is to do it because you love discovering new talent rather than because you love the idea of being a Agent.”

  10. It does help, and thanks!

  11. How very true! If you don’t write because you love writing, it would quickly drive you insane. LOL!

  12. Great one!
    I love this one. On occasion I’ve found myself picturing how wonderful it would be to be an pubbed author. When I catch myself doing that, I stop and ask myself sternly if I’m writing because I love it or because I want to be an author. It turns out that I do really like writing. Of course, I’d also like to be pubbed, but that will just allow me to do more writing, which is great because, well, I love to write… (Wearing sweat pants to work and seeing my name on the covers of books would be nice, too, though. Don’t get me wrong!)

  13. This sums it up perfectly. Thank you for the quote!

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