I’ve broken all her rules and can promise you she is absolutely correct.
1. It’s not about writing in cafés or bars or bookshops, it’s about writing.
Me and my shiny new macbook have gone for an outing. I deliberately opted for a wi-fi free local café. I needed food but I also required a bribe to “work” on my only afternoon off for weeks. Sounded good. I fired up the beast and it took all of 2 minutes of fingers flying, to get the otherwise stuck words flowing again. To my horror this was interrupted by a woman, to my left, who felt the urge to tell me how nice my computer looked. I was polite, answered, smiled and turned back to my tapping. Another minute later. “I have an Acer. Do you think I made a mistake? Are they any good?” What am I – IT support just because I’m using a computer in a public space? So I got a couple of paragraphs written, a passable but over priced lunch was consumed but I didn’t want to linger for the next round of inquisition from the lonely woman.
So I found myself at the library. A place I love and has a quiet corner for the pursuit of serious work. Perfect. No one is going to bug me. I am far away from the lure of tempting glossy magazines to peruse. Now what? A pop up box announces itself - do I want to log onto the free wireless network? Oh why not just quickly check my email? And facebook? And what about twitter?*
5. A new notebook will not make you write better. It is just a new notebook. (cf, new mac, new laptop, new pencil.)
Well I got a shiny new red moleskin as well as the lovely new macbook and I can promise you I am not a better writer for it. In fact, worse than that, I lost a whole week of writing spots transferring data from the old to the new computer.
As for the moleskin. I hate defiling them, they cost so much! Back to the spiral sketchbooks for me.
So now, like a fool, I will test yet another of Stella’s truisms.
7. You probably do not need to do another course, you probably just need to finish your book/story/play/film. And then edit it, re-write it, make it better.
With my brand spanking new Victorian Writers' Centre membership card, I’ve signed up to do a short course over the next few months.
Wish me luck!
*I used to think blogging was the time sucking devil til I got hooked on these two. My number one rule to be a writer – stay away from social networking, heck just stay off the net altogether. But do you think I’m going to listen to my own advice?