Monday, November 16, 2009

Write without pay until somebody offers to pay. - Mark Twain

I took this photo at Shakespeare & Company in Paris, just inside the door. I love the chaos of this bookshop. A cacophony of stories makes the air heavy with the read and the unread, and it's a humbling experience to skim the authors' names, knowing each bound copy is a labour of love. And knowing that while some remain in infamy and others are still revered, hundreds of writers will be forgotten. Their words will live on for those who stumble upon them, in a bookshop like this one, but books, like everything else, will one day be replaced, by new stories, new ideas, or by the retelling of tales long forgotten.

I was directed to a recent post by my agent via Twitter, and found Therese's candid statements touching and difficult. Why does one write, if one has yet to reap the rewards (via emails, like Therese, or otherwise)? What motivates creativity, especially when your book might end up at the bottom of a clumsy pile on the floor of a Parisian institution?

Perhaps motivation lies in the simple desire to articulate the satisfaction of a moment. To share this experiment we're all living, to make connections as we find our similitude. We've got something to say, in our words and through our eyes, and for some reason we're presumptuous enough to think the world will care. A soft breeze, teenagers chatting and laughing by the sea, the sound of gulls circling overhead, clouds bouncing in a huge blue sky, the smell of fresh fish & chips. An idyllic moment in a village on the North Sea, until -


Erik R. said...

I love that last photograph. The MacBook, the sea, the fish-n-chips, and someone caught going for the salt.

Out of curiosity, what app do you work your magic in? Pages? Or are their novelist apps?

KP said...

I use Pages; once upon a time, MS Word deleted thousands (!!) of words of my second novel; I had a document of 110K words and apparently there was a glitch in the old Word for Mac that freaked out with docs over 100K words. I am happy using Pages, but can't seem to do long dashes...?

There are novelist apps, but frankly they'd take up valuable writing time learning to use them properly.

sarah said...

Lost in a Good Book - Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next series). Your post made me think of this book. If you haven't already, you should read it.. oozing with literary uniqueness.. far fetched but presented in such a way that it could be real. x