Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's Tuesday!

I need to post about something today, but the Theseus letter is a hard act to follow, especially since I was away all weekend. You'd think it was some kind of holiday or something. (I feel a little bit guilty making that joke because Memorial Day is serious business, but I am equally determined not to do a Memorial Day post, so, I guess that's that.)

So what am I posting about today? I haven't been doing a lot of research recently-- I was once again derailed by a side project from Helen and didn't get the reading done on Theseus that I meant to this weekend, so I have nothing to report in that regard. I've been looking up a lot of French for the side project that is so awesome at derailing me. For some reason, I like latching onto secondary and tertiary characters and giving them stories of their own. Obviously this involves a lot of French because I like to torture myself with languages I don't speak. (Oh, Icelandic! Someday! I promise you! French means nothing to me! It's just a fling!)

But here's the thing. Sometimes, you just have to write it. Sometimes, a character comes along with a voice that grabs you, and you just have to listen. Sometimes that means putting aside the project you're working on and getting it out of your system. Sometimes repressing the voice just makes it shout that much louder, and makes it that much harder to keep working on what you're determined to work on. Sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do.

Which brings us to this guy. He quit his job, and decided to just walk across the United States. Because he can. Because it seemed like the thing to do. Because he just wanted to do it. This guy should be an example to all of us who write, all of us who are pursuing some goal that seems outrageous or impossible or bizarre, that doesn't make sense to anyone else outside of ourselves. We should all be like this guy, and not let the fact that people don't get it, get in our way. Because you know what the best part of this guy's story is? All the people he's met on his journey who DO get it, and want to help him move forward.

No matter what you're trying to do, no matter what story you want to tell, need to tell; no matter how impossible it seems, how insurmountable the industry might appear; there are people who are interested, people who want to know, people who are willing to help and willing to lend you an ear or a moment of support. And most of all, it can be done. You can do it. Just like this guy. So.

I'm just writin'.

What about you?


  1. Wow! Walking across the U.S. would be hard, but cool. Think of all the cool experiences that guy will have. And all the nifty things we writers would miss out on if we didn't write.

    And I laughed at your French fling comment. I thought of trying to learn more Spanish over the summer, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed as it is.

  2. Yes, I can do it. Thank you, Amalia!

    I've been struggling to translate documents from the French for my current WIP - what a joke! I used all my language muscles up on Spanish and I've nothing left for French. Truth is, I've tried to learn French for years because I love, love, love France. I just have no aptitude for languages. Except, I hope, for English. :)

  3. Stephanie: reading about that guy literally made me want to go out and start walking across the United States with him. Or at least send him a supportive email telling him he is an inspiration to us all! I think it's one of the coolest things I've heard of in a while!

    And yeah, French doesn't do much for my state of whelm, either.

    VR: Whoa! TRANSLATING! FROM FRENCH?! More power to you! I'm having a hard enough time getting single words into French from English! I constantly curse myself for not having taken French in school, and studying Spanish instead. If I could go back and choose French, I totally would! I have taken Spanish and Latin both, and come out the other end knowing very little of either. I hope I'll do better teaching myself Icelandic!

  4. That's very inspiring. Makes me realize how lazy I am but it also makes me motivated to trudge on and get something written. I can do it! =D

  5. I can totally relate to that guy! I quit my job last year to write. Not many people understand my reasoning, but I did what I wanted to do.

    Languages are very difficult for me. I am reading a series now that uses a lot of scottish text and I don't understand some of the uses.

  6. Ah, yes. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And then a whole lot more single steps. Every day. Plus translating some French and maybe Icelandic. (That last bit wasn't in the original translation from from Chinese, but I saw a footnote for it once. Oh, and there's another part of that saying, that goes something like, "always remember to wear comfortable shoes.")

  7. That's the thing. When you commit to something utterly outrageous, there are usually plenty of people willing to back you up.

  8. Ah, side projects. I know thee siren song well...

    Yeah, that would be why I have two novels AND a short story going right now. Can't wait to finish one or all of them, that'd be great.

  9. "I just felt like run-un-en," (Forrest Gump anyone?)
    While I admire the guy, I do kind of feel like he's running away from his problems. I'm a sucker for lost causes though.

    I also know what it's like to feel a little sick of your main characters and branching out a bit into your tertiary and and quarterary (???) characters. Sometimes it's NOT all about you. It's about other people. And let's face it, we're all our MCs. Sometimes we want to shift the focus from ourselves.

  10. ah, commitment... I wish I were more the commitment type. I keep getting distracted.

    I really would end up in Panama, should I try walking across the USA....

  11. Keri: Ditto! You can do it :)

    J.L.: Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do!
    Are you by any chance reading the Diana Gabaldon Outlander books? (I love the first three SO much)

    KLM: haha! Yes. I'm sure that the Icelandic part especially was footnoted.

    Stu: Exactly. As long as we believe in ourselves, anyway.

    LT: Amen. I feel for you. I've got too much going on myself.

    Monica: I'm not sure he really had any problems to run away from, so much as he just wanted to do it. At least not from what I read. He was doing just fine, and he prepped for the journey by leading walking tours in NYC and he just loves walking places and seeing things that are off the beaten path.

    I'm not sick of my main characters so much as I'm sick of them giving me grief about moving forward. :P

    Tessa: I probably would end up in Canada, myself. my sense of direction is terrible.

  12. I'd love to be like that guy and walk across the country but alas, I wouldn't know where to get money to pay for food and shelter!

  13. Sierra: he camps! he has a little tent that he brings with him and he asks people for permission to camp on their lawns or in their fields! And I think that he has some money he saved up for food along the way.

  14. Reminds me of Forest Gump sorta. The guy walking across the country, I mean. That's such a cool thing to do.

  15. Loved your letter to Theseus. And your promise to the Icelandic language. Good point about not letting the people who don't get it, get in our way. There are others who will get it - thanks for the reminder.

  16. KM: I think he's a bit more prepared than Forest Gump :)

    Margo: Thanks so much! Definitely no point in letting the don't-getters get in the way :)


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