“You must always keep changing your process!” Maria Irene Fornes says. “Because there are two of you, one who wants to write and one who doesn’t. The one who wants to write has to keep fooling the one who doesn’t!”
This is from Heather Seller’s blog, Word by Word, which you must check out if you haven’t already. I’ve read all her books on writing plus I have her textbook, which I love, as well as her collection of stories “Georgia Under Water.” I’m thrilled to see that she has two new books coming out next year. Her memoir on living with face blindness is due out in the fall. “The Nighttime Novelist” will be published in the spring.
Sellers writes, “I worry too many writers write too fast. They master the basics of plot and character…they do everything “right” and still the book doesn’t get finished, or, worse, the book is finished but it doesn’t sell. No one wants to read it. My goal in this new craft book is to help new writers create a book that is beautiful and important and masterful and wild and real. Break the rules. Be weirder than you are right now. Write the book only you can write. It’s a slow and difficult process, but also the most rewarding work I’ve ever engaged in, writing a novel. I have a plan for tackling this work that allows more room for the unconscious mind and all its detours, a plan that involves focusing on how artist’s play, I’m eager to see what readers think!”
And I am eager to read it. I don’t buy many writing books anymore. I’ve discovered that the only real way to learn to write is to write. A lot. And read. A lot. But sometimes you need someone to shine a flashlight into the murky swamp of the creative process. Heather Sellers holds that light. She acknowledges that yeah, it’s messy and dark and hard but look here, she’s done it and it can be fun and wonderful and weird too. In one of her books she recommends that you select several writing guides in the form of books that you can return to again and again for motivation and inspiration. She is always one of the guides that I turn to as I navigate my way into and through a writing life.