Happy Monday, writers!
First, I want to share this really cool video about Warren Adler. Warren Adler is a bestselling author of over 50 novels, and is best known for his novel War of the Roses. This video is about his journey and persistence as a writer, and I think it'll give you a zip of inspiration this week. You can find more info about Mr. Adler by clicking here.
Also, next week is our last word war of the summer! Just like the previous two, it'll run Monday through Friday, and is meant to be a fun, come-and-go kind of event where we can encourage each other as we write.
Our panel question for today is, "What's something you keep in your writing space that's meaningful to you?"
I have a teeny tiny sparkly frame next to my computer screen and it keeps a very important reminder close at hand: Make them care. If I can do that—if I can make readers care about my characters, about their plight—I’ve done my job. And I take my job very seriously.
A copy of the book Arthur Writes a Story. My daughter brought this home from her school library when she was in first grade, and when I read it to her, I cried at the end. Arthur is writing a story as a class assignment. He knows exactly what he wants to write, and so he does. But then his sister says it's boring, so he rewrites it to be more unusual. Another friend says his story takes place in outer space, so Arthur rewrites his to be set on the moon. One friend is putting in jokes, another is going really deep with research, and so on. Arthur keeps tweaking his story so that it fits everybody else's opinions about what's best, and by the end, his story about how he got his dog has turned into a country western song and dance about an elephant on a different planet.
The reason the story hit me so hard the first time I read it is that I was writing The Lost Girl of Astor Street. I was waaaaay out of my comfort zone, and I kept leaning on others to tell me that I was making the right choices with the story. There's a time and place for that, of course, but I really needed to trust myself and believe in the story the way I had envisioned it instead of seeking approval.
I bought a copy for my office, and it sits where I can see it (unless one of my kids runs off with it) as a reminder to trust my vision for the story, and to stop hustling for approval and permission from others.
I have a framed quote by author E. B. White (who wrote Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little) on my wall that a friend gave me as a Christmas gift years back. It is meaningful because it was such a thoughtful gift, but also because it reminds me that I am loved. We writers can feel very isolated sitting in front of a computer all day, even when interacting with people online. We need face-to-face friendships with people, whether they are other writers or not.
What about you? Do you have anything you keep near your writing space to remind you of something important?