Writing in Restaurants

MontmartreCreative Commons License John Althouse Cohen via Compfight

“Writing in a café can work, too, to improve concentration. But instead of reducing stimulation, the café atmosphere keeps that sensory part of you busy and happy, so that the deeper, quieter part of you that creates and concentrates is free to do so….The stimulation in a restaurant can also be used in another way. Turn to face it and get on that carousel and go for a ride. Keep your hand moving, write with the waves of energy, throwing in details you catch from around you and mixing them with your own thought flashes. The outside excitement can stimulate and awaken feelings inside you. There is a wonderful give and take.”

We Need More Creation

“We need more creation, not more destruction. We need our artists more than ever, and we need them to be stable, steadfast, honorable and brave –- they are our soldiers, our hope. If you decide to write, then you must do it, as Balzac said, ‘like a miner buried under a fallen roof.’ Become a knight, a force of diligence and faith. I don’t know how else to do it except that way. As the great poet Jack Gilbert said once to young writer, when she asked him for advice about her own poems: ‘Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say YES.’” —Elizabeth Gilbert, http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/writing.htm (7/14/12)


When will you know to stop rewriting?

...and in last place.
Tim Norris
via Compfight

“The novel never attains the level of perfection. No matter how much you rewrite and rewrite again, you will still find places in the book that don’t do exactly what you want. You will feel that some characters are hazy, and plot connections unsure. There’s a subplot that will seem to get lost and a fairly important character that will change but not as much as you might have wished. This is true for all writers in all forms. Books are not pristine mathematical equations. They are representative of humanity and therefore flawed. ‘So when will I know to stop rewriting?’ you ask. When you see the problems but, no matter how hard you try, you can’t improve on what you have. That’s it….Congratulations. You have a novel. This one is good. The  next one will be better.”