Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guest post on Tenacity in Writing by Misha Gericke

Tenacity in Writing by Misha Gericke

Most non-writers, when they think of writing stories, imagine the process to be this intensely inspiring thing, where the muse gives you one whiff of air and it sustains you to the end, which is more or less three weeks from now.

I blame the media for this. Movies etc. dealing with writers as characters often show them as starving. But never because they’re stuck without having a word to write. Oh no, despite the fact that they are living through intense dramas, often without food, their creativity keeps flowing strong.

Reality deviates from this image quite a lot. I can’t really say much for other writers, but my own experience taught me that writing, while inspiring, isn’t just a matter of dumping a few words on the page.

Well… actually it is, but to sit down every single day (or most days) to dump those pages on the page isn’t easy. Because once the first inspiration fades away, you’re left with nothing but an idea that the story’s good. The only way to get it written is to commit to writing it and to get it done.

You can’t imagine how angry I’ve made people with those words, but it’s true. There’s no glamorous way to be inspired every day. In fact, inspiration, while important in the beginning, is pretty over rater. It’s not inspiration that’ll see you through to the end.

It’s sheer bloody-mindedness.

It’s sitting down even when you’re not feeling particularly inspired, so that you can write a scene that you know needs to be written. And if you’re not sure whether or not it should be in the book, it’s about sitting down and writing that scene anyway.

It’s about forgetting what people think writers should be like and focusing on writing. Don’t get trapped in the image. Create your method. Find what works for you best (because nothing ever works perfectly) and do that until your story’s done.

Tenacity is 90% of a book’s creation. 10% is inspiration.

Once you realize this, you’re in the right mind space to finish that book. Good luck, and keep writing!

Thanks Misha!


Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.


M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.

She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blogYou can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.




Crystal Collier said...

Wahoo! You said it, Misha. It's 100% sit-your-but-in-the-chair and get er done! But wouldn't be nice if there was a magic writing potion you could take where unexpectedly you'd have all the right words/scenes/phrases in a single week? =)

Maurice Mitchell said...

A very inspiring post Misha!

Karen Lange said...

I need more tenacity, that's for sure. Thanks for the encouragement! :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Love this - "Don't get trapped in the image." Writing is definitely harder than it looks, and it's not always easy to explain that to people. I've had people tell me all sorts of things I "should" be able to do - write anywhere, write anytime, my schedule is flexible etc. But those options don't always work for me or for a particular project.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Crystal - yes, I wish the words would just magically appear on the screen sometimes too . . .but it's all about tenacity.

Maurice - Misha rocks!

Karen - Thanks for stopping by. I think Misha is a great encourager!

Madeline - yes, I think Misha has nailed down tenacity, and writing not fitting the "image" that others have.

Unknown said...

There is much to be said for the "get 'er done" discipline of writing. Although I also love this quote by Julia Cameron, "Being an artist requires enthusiasm more than discipline. Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spiritual commitment, a loving surrender to the creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think that surrender is an important part of discipline and creativity. Thanks for sharing that quote Julie!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's like a marriage - once the glow of love is over, the work begins.

S.P. Bowers said...

Very true. Determination is more important than a muse. I like Julie's quote above, too.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - yes, that's how it is, except thankfully in both writing and marriage we get bits of glow to keep us going.

SP - I agree. :)

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic post! I say it to new writers over and over. Never give up. Just keep going even when it gets too hard. In fact, those days when it seems too hard, that's when you really need to keep going.

Heather R. Holden said...

Writing definitely isn't easy. It often feels like pulling teeth!

Ella said...

Great post Misha! Hi Tyrean!
Reality check-thank you it was needed!
Now, I need new headphones to block out all distracting noise~

Gina Gao said...

This is a great post! It's always good to remember to not give up on your goals.

Misha Gerrick said...

Hey all, thanks for the great comments. Sorry for only showing up now. Still don't have internet. :-)

Misha Gerrick said...

Crystal, I suspect if writing was as easy as downing a potion, I'd have another hobby. I'm weird like that. :-P

Glad you think so, Maurice.

Good luck to you, Karen!

Madeline, I've also had my blood pressure raise multiple times due to comments made by people who just don't have a clue.

Julie, I agree with that quote, although in my mind, discipline and commitment is the same thing, since I use them interchangeably when I write.

Great analogy, Alex!

Sara I agree. Inspiration is great, but it only takes us so far.

Christine, I think a lot of new writers are lost because no one told them it's okay to struggle.

Heather I know exactly what you mean.

Hope your writing is going well, Ella!

Thanks Gina. :-)