Oct 5 2012

So, what’s with the quotes, anyway?


Think of it as: “Here I am. Settling down to write.   In an excellent place to write, i.e. the the library.    Look, proof!”

Because, of course I can’t actually talk about what I’m writing while I’m writing it. Because, I don’t do that.

And I will NOT be one of those writers who reports the daily word count, because:

a.)  Number of words does not reflect quality of sentences

b.) Number of words does not indicate how close to completion a work is, since a lot of writing is finding the right words by first writing the wrong ones and later seeing how very badly they suck, and then deleting them, replacing them with better, and possibly fewer, words.

c.) Number of words also does not indicate what part of the story I’ve reached, since I don’t always write the scenes sequentially.   Some of those words might be from the end of the book.  Or from the middle of the next book.

d.) Number of words in any particular writing session also does not reflect progress in the book as a whole, since solving a major plot issue might take days, during which almost no actual words get put on paper  — but without that solution all the words written subsequently would probably later reveal themselves as actually sucking very badly (see b., above).

e.) Although some writers work better when they think someone is checking up on them, I don’t.  The exact opposite happens.

My Muses (yes, I have two.  Well, three.   Well, two in collaboration most of the time, and another different one under other circumstances.  Three in total, but in practice two or another one at any particular time), actually kick back at the very idea of someone watching and keeping score.   They put on their hobnail boots and stomp aroundIn my head.

And yet, I do want you to know: here I am.  Settling down to work.

In the library.

Look, proof!  Snagged from the YA biography shelves:

A teenager during the First World War

Later this woman became a famous writer of her time, but I have read nothing by her...


“February 12, 1922 – Madame Curie is visiting Buffalo, and Mother took me to hear her speak.  Jinny came, too.  Sitting in the crowded hall and listening to the small frail woman who had done so much for her country and the world, I felt renewed excitement about my own life — not to be great as an ambition, but great for something worthwhile.  ‘Not tomorrow, not next week, but today,’ Madame Curie had said at a time when the words had been a rule of life to her.   I took them to heart as my rule.”

–  My Diary My World by Elizabeth Yates, 1981, Westminster Press