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Thursday, February 02, 2006

This Is What I Was Talking About

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday, the final follow-up on the foot I broke last summer, and I brought along a book and my copy of RWR to read while I waited. My appointment wasn't until 3:30, but even running a couple of errands on my way, I knew I was going to be plenty early and doctors always leave you waiting. I figured I'd finish the RWR and start Sherri Kenyon's novella in Stroke of Midnight. I am so behind on my reading.

I only made it through the first article in RWR. Since I'm not a slow reader, I'll assume I wasn't left to wait long. :-) I don't wear a watch so I had no clue what time it was. But that first article left me shaking my head. I'll post more in depth about it this weekend--complete with quotes and a rebuttal--when I have more time, but it epitomized EXACTLY what I hate when some writers start talking about their process.

It was more than the tone of the article that suggested that this writer's way of writing is the ONLY way to write successfully. That those of us who aren't following her method are just wasting time and energy. Of course, she's doubtless trying to encourage sales of her book that goes more in depth on this method, but it just bugged the hell out of me. I don't mean to pick on the author--whose name escapes me--but honestly, when will plotters understand that their methods will not work for seat of the pants writers? It's this kind of crap that almost put me off writing all together when I was a teenager and I shudder to think of a seat of the pants writer who's just joined RWA, received her issue of the magazine and thinks she has to follow this method to succeed. How many beginning writers will feel like I felt when they try to conform to this method and they not only fail at it, but it sucks all the joy out of writing too?

I have no problem with "this is my method" articles as long as the author of said article realizes that her way of doing things won't work for everyone, and as long as the author recognizes that her way isn't the only way. This author didn't do either. Like I said, when I have time this weekend, I'll lay out some quotes and why her method would absolutely not work for me. Not only is the process totally unworkable for me and writers like me, but it would suck all the joy of writing out of me. And if you're not having fun writing, why bother?