Good Cliques Never Die!

I’ve always heard authors say it took years to complete a novel and assumed they were lazy. I mean, I wrote 31 books in ten years and I wrote them quickly!

Well, call me Judy because I was super judgy.

I have written half of The Dirty Book Club about nine times in the past four years. It’s an ambitious project that spans generations, includes secret rituals, funny conversations about dirty books, and great characters in their early 30s with lives that need some serious fixing. And it’s HARD!

My latest start-over was this January. Among other things I changed it from a novel with multiple points of view to a novel with one main voice. Now, seven months later I am on page 175 of a very crappy first draft. Some days are fun. Most suck. But I truly believe in this more than anything I’ve ever done. But those damn voices in my head!! They won’t stop yammering.

Lisi, you’re writing for grown-ups now. Lisi, your friends are going to read this. Lisi, your kids’ teachers are going to read it.

Oprah might. Your parents will for sure. So will the neighbors. And what about those opinionated book club members? You better not mess this up!!

Massie Block

This morning I wondered why I never went through this anxiety with the Clique. Sure, there were uninspired days and major burnout, but for the most part writing that series was pure joy. It’s not that I didn’t care about what you thought. It’s just that, well, I didn’t let myself care. I wrote what I wanted to write. Critics be damned! I let myself show up on those pages like some freak at a cheerleader’s party intent on dominating the dance floor.

The Clique

It’s been twelve years since the first Clique came out. You’re older now. Old enough to read The Dirty Book Club, that’s for sure. So I have named you my muses. The girls I’ve felt safe with since 2003. The ones who accepted me for the flawed and fabulous person that I am. I will think of you as I struggle to complete this first draft. Because you always understood me and you always supported me–way more than Oprah!

Long live My Clique!!!

TTYW,

Lisi

WRITE ON

writing.poster

I’m receiving a number of comments and messages from readers looking for help becoming writers. Some of them lead me to believe you haven’t been keeping up with the Writing Process section here on the blah-g. Check this out first in case any of your questions have already been answered in depth: Blah Blah Blah Writing Process

And a few of you have asked me for some tips and tricks. Tips and tricks for writing, huh? I wish, sisters. I’ve said this before, but there aren’t any tricks. You have to write every day. It’s that simple. Read books in the genre you are writing so you can see how other people do it. Stephen King says if you don’t have time to read, then you don’t have the time–or tools–to write. So do it. Read and write as much as possible. Keep a notebook with you and write down amazing details you stumble on during the day. It’s these details that will bring your writing to life. And read about writing. Books on the actual craft are very helpful and inspiring. Be sure to check out my Tumblr I devote entirely to writerly things (okay, okay, there are some pups and Internet memes thrown in there, too) that I update every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s full of great writing tips for character development, story structure, inspirational words, and anything else you need to spark your creativity while honing your craft.

Writerly Words

Most of all don’t try to sound like anyone else. It’s your voice we want to hear because no one sees the world like you do. Neil Gaiman has my back on this one, albeit his version is a little more harsh:

Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.

― Neil Gaiman

Which reminds me, developing a thick skin is step 1 in becoming a writer. Harper Lee agrees:

I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. — Harper Lee

Now hit it.

 

TTYW,

Lisi