I’ve been reading One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I feel kind of lame because I had to reference Spark Notes to follow the story. I’ve also had to draw a family tree to keep track of the characters who tend to have the same names. Double lame!
If you haven’t read this literary masterpiece I do recommend it. The author’s voice is probably like nothing you’ve read before. The story follows a scattered timetable that is almost more challenging to follow than the repeated use of (variations of) the same names. In fact, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe Marquez had had an editor from today, the novel would have turned out very different.
This novel has it all–love, sex, incest, war, money, insanity, friendship, family, death (murder, suicide, one death by ants, and a few characters die of old-age in their 120’s). Oh, and there are ghosts and magic, too. Marquez threw in everything you could possibly want in a story including the kitchen sink. Whew!
Go check it out. It will remind you that sometimes ‘outside the box’ actually works. As emerging (YA) authors we’re so focused on making sure we follow all the rules–no prologue! at least 60K words but not more than 80K! first person POV, no wait, make that third person! no f-bombs–unless you really have to–that it’s easy to forget how to enjoy just writing the story.
(Try to) stay true to yourself (a la Marquez) and enjoy writing! Add One Hundred Years of Solitude to your TBR pile and be inspired.
Humor makes my world bearable. How can you run on a treadmill with your thighs and buttcheeks dancing to two different beats and do anything but laugh? How can you ‘write’ for an hour only to realize you’ve only put one (really bad) sentence down on paper and do anything but chuckle?
Read this recent post from the Writer’s Unboxed blog and laugh out loud.
I recently began using a heart rate monitor during exercise. What an eye opener! I highly recommend that you invest in one–not a wrist device but the real deal with a watch and strap that you wear around your chest. Not only will you feel like someone is squeezing your rib cage as you agonize through a workout (you’ll get use to it, I promise), you’ll quickly discover the truth of your efforts.
I had no idea how many calories I burn with certain workouts, and how few with others. Needless to say, I finally found the balance between calories in and calories out, and lost about 15 pounds. But it took a meticulous monitoring of the calories I consumed compared with what I was able to burn off to do it.
What does this have to do with writing? Many of us struggle with finding the time to write. When writing isn’t your source of income it’s tough to justify putting aside the time it takes to accomplish your writing goals. It becomes vital that you make the most of your writing time to produce tangible results. I found something that works for me.
We’ve all read the tip about using a timer when you sit down to write. I used that method to power through my second and third novels. Why does it help? For me, it’s the same reason the heart rate monitor works. A small action (setting the timer or putting on the HRM) that helps you get results you can see–words on the page and pounds lost. (Of course, you still have to do the hard part…the actual writing and/or exercises).
So, go purchase a timer (and a HRM) and discover results you can celebrate.