Advice, Craft, Fiction, Novel, Tips, Writing

Behind the door

After I finish my current round of editing, I have a few non-writing things to get out of the way and then I’ll be working on my new novel. I had started work on two others, but my heart wasn’t in them, so I hope this will be a case of third time is a charm rather than three strikes you’re out.

So … I envisioned my characters, sorted out the basic plot, and then thought about writerly things—like point of view and theme and structure and all that good stuff. Considering all those things is a necessary part of writing fiction, but what isn’t helpful is considering what I should write.

I know this and yet every time, I start something new, I find myself wondering if readers would think this story is stupid or boring or done to death … if this story will sell. It takes me awhile to forget about all that and settle down to write the story I want to write, the story I need to write.

Then, the other day I read the following quote. These words are now on a sticky note above my work area.

“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” ~Barbara Kingsolver

So now, go close your door.


20 thoughts on “Behind the door”

  1. Linda, I clicked and clicked on this post the other day to comment, but couldn’t make it work, so apologies for the lateness.

    My once said to me ‘write as if no one is watching’, which is the same as writing with no one looking over my shoulder. Very hard habit to get into, but so rewarding when I can.


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