Friday, October 22, 2010

Written Right

Don’t get it right, just get it written.
James Thurber

This is great advice for writers - except those specializing in journalism. But the idea to get your fiction stories written - and fix the problems later - is sound.

When I ran across this quote tonight I was reminded of a conversation earlier this week with a young writer.

During the conversation I suddenly found myself sounding like one of those obnoxious old people dispensing advice. I think it was because I was giving advice. Who does that? Only old people. Obnoxious, old people. Well, at least any advice anyone would pay attention to. And this writer was listening, like I might know something. No doubt, she just didn't know anyone else to discuss such things with. That's the only logical explanation.

While I was enjoying the conversation, a part of me was screaming, "No, No, No... this can't be happening... I'm now *that* person... blathering on about how important it is to be able to write to time, space and deadline... Who's saying that? Oh my gosh, it's me... It can't be me... surely not... No, no, it's coming out of my mouth. It *is* me... Have I been reduced to this? Really? When did that happen?"

Unfortunately, it was hard to deny when, despite this conversation going on in my head, I did not stop talking. Oh no I didn't. I kept on going. Just like old people do when they're giving advice people have stopped listening to a few minutes before they stop talking. At that point you're just being indulged.

I prefer to think of this as a momentary lapse, and not a new pattern. I can't be that person. Not yet.

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