As I’m working toward the first draft of my novel-in-progress, my writing desk is flanked on one side by a wall covered in bright post-it notes. Each note has a scribble of thought on it that I feel is too important for me to ever lose sight of while working on this book. Yes, I have a Scrivener document full of research and zero-draft material, and yes, I have drawers full of notebooks filled with brainstorming, and yes, on the other side of the room I have a giant dry erase board with the detailed plot outline. But, there are some things that I need to keep my eye on constantly, and those things go on the post-its.
Most of these notes have to do with salient plot details, key bits of characterization, and so on. But my favorite, is much more simple…
It’s my lodestar. It reminds me that whenever I am feeling stuck or hopeless or demoralized that there are truly no rules, no limitations in this book. I don’t have to follow any script, I don’t have to write a book to please anyone but me. And what pleases me?
And so that is the direction I will keep on traveling…
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~ Franz Kafka
“There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” ~ Diane Arbus
“There’s a whole category of people who miss out by not allowing themselves to be weird enough.” ~ Alain de Botton
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the right to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our prescence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
“There’s one thing your writing must have to be any good at all. It must have you. Your soul, your self, your heart, your guts, your voice – you must be on the page. In the end, you can’t make the magic happen for your reader. You can only allow the miracle of ‘being one with’ to take place. So dare to be yourself. Dare to reveal yourself. Be honest, be open, be true…If you are, everything else will fall into place.” ~ Elizabeth Ayres
The art in this post is by an artist I am particularly obsessed with, Eugenia Lolli. Weirder and weirder and more beautiful still.