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Happy St. Pat's Day!
What better time to talk about something Irish? In the spirit of the holiday, I searched out a few old Irish sayings, just for fun. I'm a big fan of quotes…sayings…truisms—whatever you choose to call them. Words of wisdom. You like them too, don't you?
I found lots of quotes attributed to Ireland…but wouldn't you know the ones that struck a chord with me were the ones I could apply to writing? (Who'da thunk?)
Let's look at a couple of them.
#1—It’s not a delay to stop and sharpen the scythe.
Write every day. Set and meet a daily word count goal. Both of these habits are highly encouraged and often stressed within the publishing industry. And they are important. But it's possible to be so concerned about putting words on paper that we forget to hone our craft.
At some point, a writer has to STOP WRITING long enough to attend classes/writing conferences…read books on writing…interact with other writers…learn about the craft. Otherwise, the result of all that dedicated writing will be a bunch of wasted words that never see print.
Granted, this quote was most likely aimed at farmers, for whom a dull scythe meant working doubly hard and producing less output. For a writer, the same applies to a mind made dull from lack of enrichment. Persistence in writing without honing the craft results in poor production and/or discouragement that leads to no production whatsoever.
# 2—You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.
I'm one of those writers who hashes out a storyline mentally before I write it. I "turn it over in my mind" time and time again before I actually sit down and start writing. It works for me in that, once I do apply my rear to the chair and my fingertips to the keyboard, I pretty much know how the story starts and have a good handle on where I want it to go.
But it's very easy to keep telling myself I'm "writing a book" when all I'm doing is thinking about writing a book. I find it necessary to set a deadline by which I must actually sit down at my computer and start writing words and sentences and paragraphs. The best story in history, if contained only within my mind, is not a story at all. It will never be a book until it's written.
And one more…
#3—Unwillingness easily finds an excuse.
Truer words were never spoken. Writers must love to write. Even those who do love it find themselves making excuses to put it off. And when one is unwilling to do a thing--any thing—excuses can multiply faster than bunnies on a rabbit farm.
Books don't happen by magic. There are no little leprechauns granting wishes for a headful of killer storylines; there's no pot of editorial gold at the end of some fantasy rainbow. Books are written by dedicated writers who love the written word and are willing to make the sacrifices to spin tales that readers want to read.
They do so in deliberate, measured steps, which include (among many things for various writers) the following:
1. Taking time to learn the craft on an ongoing basis. (Sharpening the scythe.)
2. Actually writing. (Thinking about plowing the field won't turn over even a shovelful of dirt.)
3. Allowing themselves no excuses. Are we willing to write, or aren't we? Because it's all too easy to find a reason not to.
Just a wee bit o' the Irish wisdom for ye. Hope ya find it to yer likin', dearie!
Gypsy Lovell stands to inherit an enormous amount of money from a father who never gave her anything but a ridiculous name. Even now, he doesn’t make it easy. A stipulation in the man’s will demands that Gypsy be married in order to claim what is hers.
Desperate for the monetary windfall that could save her ailing mother’s life, Gypsy visits a Christian dating agency, hoping to find a temporary husband. Someone easy to handle for the required six months, and easy to get rid of when she no longer needs him.
Jal Garridan is neither of those things, but he's willing to take on the challenge presented by the beautiful stranger—on his own terms.
What Gypsy doesn’t know is that Solomon’s Gate is a dating agency with a Divine connection. What she finds there may save more than her mother’s life. It may save Gypsy’s soul.
Loved Books 1 and 2...this one sounds very intriguing as well!
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