Winston Churchill is responsible for one of my favourite quotes: ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going’. Never, ever give up. The same is true with writing. Sometimes I sit staring at the computer and words refuse to flow – not even a drip. But words beget words. Write anything. Drips become trickles, trickles streams, which then become rivers.
Now that I’ve started quoting, I might as well have some fun, and build each paragraph around one. Oscar Wilde said: ‘I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again’. Not much was happening for Oscar that morning … Or perhaps it was. Writing is all about rhythm. That comma could have made all the difference. Try reading Dr Seuss – the guy had rhythm. William Shakespeare did too. Good prose is often referred to as lyrical. At the very least, Oscar was trying to make things happen.
‘Shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level’. I love Star Wars – every word, and each frame. But a garbage masher? Wouldn’t that be better suited to Sesame Street, not a Death Star? Writers have ‘off’ days, but if the end result is something as brilliant as Star Wars, even garbage mashers have a place.