I like a good vampire story as much as the next girl, though I’m not really into the sparkly kind. To each her own, though, you know? Still, Anne Rice was never one of my favorite authors until a friend shared this video with me. Now I’m slightly in love with her. Here’s what I like about Anne Rice, and I think it’s an important lesson: She never let what other people think of her genre trip her up. Also, this video contains quite easily the best and most helpful writing advice I have ever, ever heard. Except the bit from Anne Lamott about my excuses being BS. Except for that. And maybe the advice in Bird by Bird. But other than those. The best. Watch.
Also from Anne Rice:
Writers have to have faith in their own voice, and their own way of doing things. Originality is the gem that every writer possesses. Originality also brings on the most merciless attacks. The world resents originality in the beginning writer, and then rewards it abundantly once that writer has been successfully published. Cherish your own voice. Don’t try to sound like anybody else. Sound like yourself and take the slings and arrows and keep going.
On the subject of writing block, of course chocolate helps! Chocolate helps everything. Truly you have to brainstorm to go through writer’s block. Watch a film that excites your imagination tremendously. Pick up a book with delectable prose that just trips along. Do whatever makes you want to sit down and pound away on the keys. And try again and again to write right through that block. Just write until the juices start. Don’t put up with Writer’s block. With me, movies are very powerful. Highly plotted, visually beautiful films help. Amadeus helps. Immortal Beloved helps. Gladiator helps. But eventually you have to just write, and write and write.
Jaimie, I thought you’d like that last one, because the whole “just write” advice doesn’t work for you, and this sounds a lot more like what you do. Also, you’re the one who first shared this clip with me, a long time ago. Credit where credit is due.