Sunday, September 12, 2010

Approval

Found an interesting concept while reading Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. He was referencing being excited about the work you do, whatever it is.

"This is why ancient Jewish wisdom insists that approval by our friends is an important aid to a person's business success; and likewise, people are stimulated and encouraged by their friends' approval. Even more important, this approval helps people find passion and enthusiasm in what they do (pg 20)."

This shouldn't be a revelation to me. I'm more serious about writing when my friends are interested in my writing. Having test readers badger me for more chapters makes me more eager to write those chapters. Talking about writing - to a point - gets me writing.

TT: I must be careful about the talking. I noticed long ago if I told my stories in detail to an avid listener before I wrote them, they tended not to get written at all. At this point, I will answer only specific questions put to me by Mom, because she can hurt me if I don't. I also promised that courtesy to My Best Friend, because she was my test reader back when I finished nothing, and it was the only way to get her to read anything at all. My Dear Friend, alas, has to wait to find out what happens with any story I'm currently writing, but she gets to hear about stories I may never write, so it balances out. At least, I think it balances out.

I suppose the point of the lesson is shared excitement leads to increased productivity. To write more, I must share more writing.

I do remember Orson Scott Card warning writers must publish or die. Continually reworking old material does no one any good. Leaving manuscripts in drawers does not increase your skill.

In Elfquest, Cutter and the Wolfriders encounter the Gliders, close descendants of the High Ones and thus immortal. Fearing contamination by the outside world, the Gliders confined themselves within a mountain. Cutter accuses them of feeding off themselves, like a wolf with its leg caught in a trap.

My one great annoyance with my favorite authors is how they move on. They write new stories. They change the futures of beloved characters from the future I imagined (Paul Atreides of Dune being an excellent example). They create new beloved characters designed to usurp the old ones in my heart space.

Yet this is what writers must do. We are literary sharks, constantly moving or dying of asphyxiation in a sea of creative oxygen. This is what I must do, if I am to be a writer of those many books my fans will want.

Seems my friends are an integral part of that process. Makes me glad I have the friends I do.

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