Friday Feast: To Motivate and To Finish


Source: evelyn

Earlier this week, I yelled out loud to my empty living room, “I hate everything that I’ve written!” Yesterday, I broke out some junior high dance moves to celebrate the completion of another first (shitty) draft. Such is the up-down life of a writer.

Today, I’ll break out the black-eyed peas and collards for good fortune in the new year, in whatever form that takes. Here’s to the highs and the lows, and all the feelings in between. Happy New Year!

  • Novel Incubator instructor Michelle Hoover joined other Grubbies in discussion on Twitter about what it takes to finish a book.
  • If you’re having trouble with motivation, check out the Best Advice Writers Ever Received. This is my favorite, from Richard Bausch, author of Before, During, AfterPeace: “Mary Lee Settle to me in 1981, when I had just published my second novel and was having trouble getting started again: ‘Aw, Sweetness, you’ve just got to get stupid again, watch a lot of dumb movies and read a bunch of bad mystery novels, give the urn time to fill up again, it’ll pour when it’s ready.'”
  • And, in preparation for the coming year, Rebecca Makkai predicts The Next Eleven Literary Scandals.
  • Maybe the problem is not that you’re working hard, it’s that you’re not working smart? Or, said as click-bait (no judgment, I clicked): Want to Create Things That Matter? Be Lazy. “…become hard to reach, avoid new tech tools, be slow to answer e-mails, become blissfully ignorant of memes, turn down coffee requests, refuse to ‘hop on’ calls, and spend whole days outside working in a single idea—these are exactly the type of lazy behaviors that can change the world.”
  • “The only difference between a good writer who publishes a book and a good writer who doesn’t is that the writer who publishes actually finished her book.” Read on for more insights from Hanya Yanagihara’s on finishing a novel.

This is the year. Go forth, writers. Change the world in 2016.

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