Monday, January 31, 2011

The Art of War...

I'm reading a great little book called The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises by James Scott Bell. It's just a little writing book that I picked up at Barns and Noble a couple weeks ago (along with several other books on book-writing... I felt ridiculous at the checkout... like I was buying feminine hygiene products or a really big tube of zit cream... especially when the checkout lady said "Ahh, I'm sensing a theme here" as she eyed my purchase...)

Anyways, there are some great little quotes in this book. No matter what your goal is, they are applicable little tidbits of wisdom. Here are some of my favorites so far:
  • "Know the difference between a hero and a fool... A hero knows it takes hard work and a long time to get published; a fool thinks it should happen immediately, because he thinks he's a hero already... A hero keeps growing all his writing life; a fool thinks he's fully grown already... A hero fights to make his writing worthy, even when no one's noticing; a fool demands to be noticed all the time, even if his writing stinks... a hero gets knocked down and quietly regroups to write again; a fool gets knocked down and whines about it ever after" (16-17).
  • "It's not the will to win that counts, but the will to prepare to win" (18).
  • "Set your goals on a weekly basis" (19).
  • "... [novelist Anthony Trollop said ] 'Nothing, surely, is so potent as a law that may not be disobeyed. It has the force of the water drop that hollows the stone. A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules'" (19-20).
  • "Every moment spent whining about your writing career is a moment of creative energy lost" (27).
  • "Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain" (28).

I didn't work on my story all weekend. It's silly, but I feel afraid to face it again. What if I reread what I worked on last week and realize it's all rubbish? What if I can't get past the imperfections and I can't pound out my weekly word count?

Trying to do what I fear is tough.

On a positive note, I know what I'm making for dinner tomorrow night (I want it to be dinner time tomorrow already! Oh my goodness...)

Sun Tzu is pretty ferocious looking...


  1. Working at Barnes and Noble, I often find myself spending my breaks in the writing section... but I'm usually too broke to buy anything, so I just have a huge notebook of titles I write down that I end up getting from the library.

    I haven't checked this one out though. I will!

  2. To Shena,
    Your blog makes me hystericaly happy.
    In a good way.

  3. Linden - I am so glad. Hehehe.