Friday, August 14, 2009

Writers are like sharks

There's this old theory about sharks, they stop swimming and they die. Which is true for most sharks, it's how they breathe and stay afloat.

And for writers, the constant need to read, watch movies, examine what we love, talk about writing, edit and critique our own writing, it's how we grow and evolve as writers. It's why I almost never take a complete vacation from writing. Because even when I'm taking a writing vacation, I'm thinking about my next book, the characters, the turning points.

And it's one of the things I love best about writing. The fact that you can never quite leave it behind.

But the growth, the learning is how we keep making our writing fresh. We need to take risks, try new things, just to keep this interesting. And as an unpubb'd writer I have zero expectations, except the ones that I place on myself, so I get to write just for me right now and I'm really relishing it, as much as I can relish in my unpubb'd state.

It might not help my quest towards publication, but I'm loving the concept that no idea is taboo as long as it works within the confines of my story.

And I have season 2 of Mad Men and soon season 3 to provide all the inspiration I could need. That show is a masterclass in showing not telling. It's a masterclass in a lot of things.


Eileen said...

I SO know what you mean! Stories, characters and ideas are always percolating in the back of my head. I'm never lonely because I always have my imaginary friends to keep me company! :-) It is addictive, too. I often tell people not to start unless they want to keep doing it. Storytelling may be worse than cigarettes that way, but better for your lungs.

Maureen McGowan said...

Great post, Sinead. I often kick myself when I'm not writing enough, but everything is still percolating, whether I like it or not.

But I am starting to realize that I'm pretty shark like in terms of momentum, in actually moving the fingers and getting words on the page, too. I might not die when I stop.. ;-) But it's certainly harder to get back up to the same pace after I've taken a break.

I need to capture that nanowrimo pacing again...

Kwana said...

Great post. You're right we are so like sharks and if we stop we die. When I stop it's so hard to start again and get that momentum going it's like I can't breathe.

You have to constantly be in training like you're going for a long distance marathon or something.

Sinead M said...

Finding Nemo's been in my head all day... 'just keep swimming'

Which really is not a hardship. I love thinking about a story, and where to take it..

Molly O'Keefe said...

You are totally holding down the fort here Sinead. If I am a shark, I am about a month dead and starting to stink. Last night I was falling asleep and couldn't even remember what my book was about!!!! Bad writer. bad writer.

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