Sunday, 9 May 2010

Forgetting to dream?

"Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing." Melinda Haynes

I don't tend to start posts with a quote. But if the Twitter #Haikuchallenge word is dry and crispy I have been known to look for inspiration amongst the quotations of the rich and the writerly. 

The quote above turned up on Twitter and it made me pause and think. Only minutes earlier I'd been replying to a message from a friend who mentioned he still collected vinyl. My head was full of the rainbow diffracted light of a CD disc, doughnut-like on the end of a finger. I was swamped by the physical memory of holding large, black discs and fingering the sharp edge: a heavy and intense feeling. The memory was in arms that recalled the feeling of cold and smooth and fingers that tingled with the bite of the edge and the fingerprint whorls. My recollection at cerebral memory level lagged way behind.

I don't think I could take Melinda Haynes advice. I could not forget the rules: I worked too hard to learn them. I couldn't forget the goal to be published. Celebrating writing: no problem; writing for myself: I do that too. But, forget about being published? Nah!

Could you forget the driving and enjoy the scenery? Would you want to forget about being published and just celebrate writing?

I love the sign for "forget" - even in wiping away the thought, the fist shows ownership of the action and the desire to hold onto the thought in case it is needed later!


  1. I usually don't think about getting published while engrossed in writing a good story. For me, it's purely the thrill of telling my story and seeing it come to life on the monitor. Not until I'm all finished do I even think about the other possibilities. I've always functioned that way. Some would say I lack the ambition to be a successful commercial writer for that reason.

  2. I tend to get a little panicky if I look too far ahead. So I don't think too much about publishing and the future. I just write :)

  3. I think you're spot on with holding onto the thought for later. Forget publishing, you don't want that to be present in your text when you write, readers of fiction or poetry don't want to see the desire to be published. Then, when the pen goes down and the marketing begins, slap that thought right back in your forehead and try to get published! :-)

  4. Hi Wendy - engrossed is a good word for the intensity felt when writing.
    Jemi - panicky: the adrenaline rush is a force to be reckoned with.
    Charmaine - wise words! From the moment I commit to writing a project, the day to day focus is on storytelling without the benefit of projecting the emotion with voice modulation, face and body or dimming the lights!
    However, I also researched current trends in Adult and YA fiction, then favourites in previous decades: I was looking for patterns. I tried to predict 2 years on before I started to write. I was consciously looking to bridge between Adult/ YA.

  5. I think this is wonderful and well said! It is important to not always worry about goals but do just remember what you love and enjoy doing, the more you love it the more the dream comes true and later the publishing falls into place!

  6. I have to admit I didn't start writing with the goal of being published, but over the years I made it a goal. Mainly because it's what I would love to do as a full-time career. No day job could ever be as fulfilling to me as writing.

    But yes, for now, I write because I love it. There is no paycheck in sight anytime soon. lol.

  7. I'm with you Elaine. It makes for a great sound bite...and obviously a trendy quote on twitter...but its not very sound advice.