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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Superstitions & A New Goal!



I just finished reading The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. In a nutshell, it's about five women in the late 60's who discover a mutual love of writing. The book was a fun read and I often found myself nodding along as the characters discovered some new revelation about writing.

Here's a passage I particularly liked.

I know writers who have a talisman or a ritual to make writing easier: bunny slippers they wear or a certain candle they always burn when they're writing; putting a pen to paper at sunrise, or noon, or 11:00 PM; sitting in a certain chair in a favorite cafe or walking their dog on the beach first; playing one song on their iPod on infinite repeat on one novel, then choosing another song for the next. But that always strikes me as dicey. What if that cafe table is taken? What if the god you walk on the beach eats your bunny slippers? What if your iPod dies? And the fact is, we're mothers and wives; if we waited for the stars to align just so, we'd still be waiting.


There are so many excuses not to write, but they're just that- excuses. I don't have any excuses (except work) and I'm halfway through Book #2. So I'm making my newest goal public.

The first draft of THE RELUCTANT QUEEN will be done by July 15th!

*and the crowd goes wild*

What about you? Do you have any writing superstitions? What are your current writing goals?

30 comments:

Terresa said...

Writing supersititions? Yes. I worry that the moment I sit down to write, one of my 4 children will need something, burn down the house, cut themselves with scissors.

My current writing goals?
To edit an essay, write another essay, and dig into my newish WIP.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Terresa- One day when I was writing, my daughter got a hold of a bright blue magic marker and proceeded to color on the white carpet. She was very proud of herself. Thankfully, she hasn't tried to burn the house down. Yet!

Jenna Wallace said...

Your bolded line made me really thing about why my second book hasn't gone anywhere. I haven't set a deadline! I have no superstitions but I am very wed to deadlines. Thanks for reminding me.

The first draft of THE TWENTY will be done by November 8th!

Jemi Fraser said...

I don't make too many goals with my writing - just to write something every day and to keep moving forward.

Amalia T. said...

Hooray! I think you'll make it without a problem! And I will be rooting you on. My current goal is to get a handle on Helen's rewrite, I wanted to finish the rewrite this month, but then I was struck down with the achey-wrist syndrome and my husband has forced me to take a break, so we'll see... ugh. I hate when forces prevent me from writing!

Julie Dao said...

Sounds like a great book, I'll have to check it out. I don't really have any writing superstitions, no. Excuses, though... I've got too many of those!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yay for goals! Good luck with The Reluctant Queen, Stephanie. My current goal is to finish the revisions (last?) of my WIP by the end of the month. :-)

Bethany Mattingly said...

I don't have any superstitions about writing...I do toss salt over my shoulder though from time to time. :) My goal is to finish writing a book by the end of June :) not too far from your own due date.

Susan R. Mills said...

I suppose I do have a couple of writing rituals, but I'd still be able to write without them and have had to on occasion.

Lisa and Laura said...

I love that quote. We're currently working on Book 2, but this time one of our goals is to slow down a little and try to get it (kind of) right the first time. Surely this won't happen, but hopefully we'll get a little closer!

I'll have to check this book out--I've heard a lot about it!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Good for you for being brave enough to put your next goal out there! I had superstitions when I was acting - but not so many when I'm writing. However, I'm sure I have some I refuse to acknowledge.

Many good wishes to you as you continue through your first draft - it can be a rocky road at times...or at least it can be for me.

Cynthia Reese said...

LOL on the blue marker! The Kiddo managed to spray bug repellent in her eye while I was on the computer -- even with someone supposedly watching her. Isn't it amazing how nothing exciting happens until it's BICHOK time?

Good luck on meeting your goal! You can do it!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Jenna- Hurray! I'll be rooting for you!

Jemi- That was my initial goal, but when I wrote Hatshepsut I ended up taking almost a year long hiatus. I don't want that to happen this time.

Amalia- Sometimes breaks can be good. They certainly give you fresh eyes for your MS.

Julie- I've always got excuses. I'm glad I cut TV out- that was a huge time drain.

Shannon- Yay! Then will you be ready to query? We can be in the trenches together!

Bethany- Nice to know we'll be in the same boat!

Susan- I'm recently discovering that I can be more flexible about writing. I even wrote a couple pages at parent teacher conferences!

LiLa- I'm the opposite. It took me almost two years to finish the first draft of Hatshepsut. I don't want this one to take that long.

Elspeth- I can't think of any writing superstitions I have either. I just typically like to be alone at my desk when writing.

Cynthia- Yeah, the blue marker was pretty hilarious, although less so at the time. Kids certainly keep us on our toes!

Tamika: said...

I'm literally cheering you own!

Tamika: said...

Whoops! I'm cheering you ON!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Tamika- Thanks! I can use all the cheering I can get!

Jackee said...

What a great goal! Good luck, Stephanie!

Voidwalker said...

My writing superstition goes like this:

If I write with my underwear inside out, I'll come up with a good set of dialogue, but if I write with my underwear on the right way, then I come up with great action scenes... J/K, but that would be a pretty cool ability! :P

Libbie H. said...

What an insightful quote! I obviously need to read this book. It sounds wonderful. I have a sweet spot for older ladies, probably because I was raised by my single mom and my single Granny together. Granny was every bit as much a parent to me as my mother was. I've always got along well with women in their late fifties through eighties/nineties. They're so fascinating, with full lives lived and so much more to offer the world, as well. :)

I am REALLY excited about The Reluctant Queen! I'd love to beta-read it for you!! :D

Libbie H. said...

Oh -- as far as my current goals, I've got about 15,000 words of "keeper" material in Book 2 (axed a good 20,000 words a few days ago that just weren't working). I'd like to finish it by the end of May, and finish Book 3 by the end of August.

Elana Johnson said...

Ah, you are wise. This is so true, that there are tons of excuses for not just sitting down and doing it. I've used many.

And my goals right now are 1000K/day until my WiP is done.

Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist said...

I tend to rebel against goals the moment I set them...which is beyond stupid. But I am working on it and trying to figure what my writing goals for the next few months will be. Maybe I will take your lead and make them public?

VR Barkowski said...

Congratulations, Stephanie! That is a huge commitment, and we're rooting for you!

No writing superstitions, but that quote reminds me how easy excuses are to come by. My current goal is to complete a first draft of my second novel - which has been limping along at 500 wpd.

Lorel Clayton said...

Good luck with the new manuscript!

I try hard to avoid superstitions, because I have to write even if I can't find the exact brand of chocolate I want. Nothing must stop the writing.

My goal is both books of my new fantasy epic completed (and edited) by the end of the year (that's ~240,000 words by December 31st). Yikes! I have about 65,000 edited words right now--but they need some more editing.

Gary Corby said...

Wow, you got the second written quickly!

That's a very good thing.

Hope the first is doing okay!

Jennifer Swan said...

I just finished The Wednesday Sisters last night! My fear is similar to what happened to "Frankie"... that I make it to publication only to have the book sit untouched in book stores across America.

As odd as it sounds, I do my best writing on airplanes and in airports. Strange, huh?

Lola Sharp said...

Thankfully, I don't have writing superstitions. But, I do try and have a writing routine, meaning that I make sure I write every morning, M-F, before I do much else.
I will often pick up the laptop and write again in the evening, or on the weekends, but I make myself get some writing done each weekday morning.

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