Words to aspiring writers, by Sandra Scofield

'My' writing sofaNothing comes fast or easy. Everything is about discovery. You have to think of writing as day labor; you show up. You work. At night, you study. Only you don’t get a paycheck, you get insight and story. And if you don’t get them the hard way, they won’t be worth very much. If you do, they are grace. - Sandra Scofield

This afternoon I once again worked on my novel. In a room that feeds me creative energy, in the company of 4 other dedicated writers, it occurred to me, mid-sentence, that it's time to do more than just think about improving my ability to write dialogue. It's time to do something about it.

So I did what you would have done; I put my laptop down on the table in front of me and walked across the room toward a shelf where I was pretty sure I recognized several of my favorite books for writers. Once there, I let my gaze run over the titles, quickly skimming as I searched for the word in my head. "Dialogue." It didn't appear. And so I began again, this time letting go of preconceived notions. I mean, the likelihood that there was going to be a title there that called out, "Here is everything you need to know about writing dialogue, Melody Watson!" was pretty minimal.

This time around I noticed a few titles that seemed to speak to my needs. The one I took back to my seat was Sandra Scofield's The Scene Book: A Primer for the Fiction Writer.

I've read the introduction and found it really resonates with my needs. Scofield's writing style is appealing. In that way that had me peeking around on Amazon to learn a bit about her fiction and memoir. Now it's lying here on my desk, taunting me. I want to read more. And I will, too. Later. Now, of course, there are flegeling websites that need my attention. And later I'm going to reward myself and read from this book. I've been working on this novel for long enough that it's finally sinking in that I'm actually committed to doing it. Which means it's time to stretch myself a little more. First the commitment. Next the figuring out what I need to carry me further. Now the answering of that call.

Every week, it feels a little more real. And a lot more exciting.