More than a place--it's a writer's muse.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Some things never change

At the beginning of 2009, when I was setting my writing goals for the year, I came across what I thought was a brilliant list of rules for succeeding at the business of writing:

1. You must write.
2. You must finish what you write.
3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4. You must put the work on the market.
5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

As usual, I’m way behind the times – because these rules were written in 1947! They appeared in the essay “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction” by science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein. I was blown away to find that rules written over 60 years ago could still be so applicable today! Unfortunately, I’ve been guilty of breaking all of them. But I’m trying to do better. I have a copy of the rules posted on the bulletin board in my study, next to my computer.

Heinlein (1907-1988) was the author of works such as “Starship Troopers” and “Stranger in a Strange Land.” I think he was also a Textnovel Diva at heart, judging by the many colorful and deliciously snarky quotes attributed to him. Here are a few of my faves:

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”

“Money is a powerful aphrodisiac. But flowers work almost as well.”

“The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive.”

So, I raise my chocolate martini glass to you, Mr. Heinlein!


Robin said...

Most definitely a Diva. I must pass these forward to my DH, who forgets sometimes the power of flowers.

Saranna DeWylde said...

Don't they all, Robin?

I really love the one about doing it in private and then washing your hands. That's so apt.

Liane Gentry Skye said...

LOL, why am I not surprised that Saranna and I glommed onto the same quote? ;) Great post, loved this!

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