“Yes, but . . . “

By Allison Brennan

I stumbled across John Scalzi’s blog last week on writing. I love this comment he made:

Do you want to write or don’t you? If your answer is “yes, but,” then here’s a small editing tip: what you’re doing is using six letters and two words to say “no.” And that’s fine. Just don’t kid yourself as to what “yes, but” means.

We often find ways to lie to ourselves. That the nachos and margarita calories don’t really count because you didn’t have breakfast. That playing video games is honestly creative thinking. Or maybe “I’ll try to write a thousand words today.”

As Master Yoda says, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

A few weeks ago I blogged at Murder She Writes about how I hate writing speeches, and even the one I did write (and posted here at Murderati) I didn’t really give because I went off on a tangent after page two and I have no real recollection of what I said. But I’m the keynote speaker for the Moonlight & Magnolia’s conference next weekend, and I do need a little preparation. Not a full speech like I wrote but didn’t give to the New Jersey Romance Writers conference, but a loose compilation of thoughts and inspirations I can share with fellow writers.

When I read Scalzi’s blog, I thought of the theme of the conference: “Master Your Story, Master Your Destiny.” Which for writers, I think means: 

You have absolutely no control over anything in this business except the effing book, so you’d better damn well write!

Or, we could switch this around and say, “Stop lying to yourself. If you want to be a writer, put your ass in the damn chair and write! If you don’t want to be a writer, why are you sitting here? Master your destiny, then you can master your story.”

Either way, Scalzi and Master Yoda have an important point that it would benefit all of us (including the Queen of Procrastination, Yours Truly) to take to heart. No more buts, no more trying. Say yes and do it.

Whatever “it” is.

So I’m calling on you all for help. Give me examples of how we lie to ourselves, especially to justify not doing something. Or, what you think “Master Your Story, Master Your Destiny” means. I’m also looking for motivational quotes—you know, one of those kick-you-in-the-ass quotes—or a true story that gets you excited to write or do something else you care about. Are there any books or articles out there that motivate you? Whatever you want to share, great!

And as a thank you for your help, I’m giving one random commenter a copy of BLOOD LITE II: OVERBITE, an anthology of humorous horror stories by the Horror Writers Association and edited by Kevin J. Anderson, a prolific and talented writer. I had a lot of fun writing my story!

How far will an elite call girl go to beat a murder rap? Stuck with a dead client in a luxury L.A. hotel room, she might strike a costly bargain with a woman of unearthly powers in Allison Brennan’s “Her Lucky Day.” 

41 thoughts on ““Yes, but . . . “

  1. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Allison

    Love the Yoda quote – that about sums it up, really, doesn't it?

    The screen saver on my computer is just big revolving text that says:


    Now, I'll stop procrastinating by looking at blogs and take my own computer's advice… ;-]

    (The anthology cover looks great, by the way!)

  2. Jude Hardin

    You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
    –Jack London

    I've never much believed in writer's block. Other professions don't get to have blocks, so why writers? I can just imagine calling the hospital where I work and telling them I'm not going to be able to make it tonight because I have nurse's block. They would probably make sure I got there one way or another, and then admit me to the psych unit. If you're a writer, you write. No excuses.

  3. Chris Hamilton

    A couple years ago, I was going on about how I *had* to do this and *should* do that. She stopped me and said "I'm not interested in what you *have* to do or *should* do. What do you *want* to do?" I didn't have an answer. Not a real one. The real value of Scalzi's quote is, for me, in the word want. It's a very powerful word, and not selfish as you can sometimes be led to believe.

    I want to be in better physical shape. I want to be more engaged in my family's life. And I want to write.

    The best parallel is the physical shape desire. I just started sort of doing P90X. It's very difficult and I sometimes crawl on the floor and pull myself up using the bed, desk, or whatever else is there. It sucks. If anyone could see me, it would be incredibly embarrassing. But the endorphin rush is just so good after that I do it anyway.

    That's where I want my writing effort to be. And that's where it will be. Because I want it. I just need to be creative in pursuing it, that's all. But it will happen because I want it to happen and it's completely within my control.

    It's all up to me, which puts me in a nice spot because I can control that, as you said. The missing piece though, is you. Are you and your wants worth resisting the temptation of Facebook or the DVD that just came from Netflix or dusting the top of your desk? Are you worth busting your ass for? Your kids are. Your family is. Your job (if you work outside your writing) is. Why not you?


  4. Debbie

    I get what I'd loosely call wrighters block when I don't get out of the way or try to force the characters in some way. More often than not, it's my subconscience working the story into shape before it's handed back to me. As for procrastination and how we lie to ourselves…. There are things that just need to get done, along with the writing (like laundry and blog reading!) and if they're tugging at me I can't focus so I go do them (with a set time limit). Best way to get back? I draw myself in the way I either did to get started on the book in the first place, or with something I associate with the characters like a particular set of songs. Rereading the story, favourite scene, the chapter before the one I'm writing…. Speaking of distractions…Dudley, did you ever tackle that laundry or should we call 911 to pull you out from the avalanche?

  5. Cornelia Read

    I think the hardest thing for me to get over is all-or-nothing thinking. "Well, I didn't jump write into the Word file and knock out ten pages before I checked blogs, so the day is shot and I'll do it tomorrow, bright and early." Very similar to "I'll just finish this quart of ice cream and tomorrow eat nothing but steamed spinach."

  6. Paula R.

    Hey Allison great post. Hmmm…I used to say "yes, but…", but I don't do that anymore. I also used to let the guilt of not writing daily and or writing first strike fear into me, but it never helped my story, and I would be back at square one. To get writing, I find a writing "buddy" online and we timed writing sessions. I have found that writing in 30 minute increments work very well for me. I produce more work that way, and I don't fret over how much I have to accomplish in that time frame. Most often I end up going over. That probably doesn't answer you question about the lies we tell ourselves. Well, here it is. Since I have had such great success writing at 30 minute intervals, I always tell myself that I can always get to it, even if I don't get BICHOK now. Look at how much work I did yesterday. I can afford to start later, and then procrastination sets in and the motivation disappears. One mantra I have been saying to myself lately is " you can't edit and unwritten book." I use that as my motivation. The more you write, the more likely you will have a finished product to revise, the closer you are to your goal of completing a manuscript. Have fun at the M&M Conference next weekend.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  7. Catherine

    Oh I lied to myself for years about wanting to write. I wasn't even close to saying I wanted to write but…

    I lied because it was safer reading. I could escape into someone else's words and push any desire to write to the side. I've had decades of a inner dialogue discouraging me from writing. I could still beat myself up about not having a writing routine, except somehow I find the time each day to write…

    It's not till I worked out that I'd rather suck badly for however long till I suck no more, that I've made the commitment to write. I think that when I decided that writing was a core part of the rest of my life I banished any chance of excuses to not write.

    I'm not saying that I wake each morning with a load of inspiring words ready to flow. However I do wake up each morning prepared to work till I find them.

    I really like that Jack London quote that Jude provided.

    This quote by E.L Doctorow speaks pretty loudly to me too.

    “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”

  8. Barbie

    I think your quote up there — the one about the effing book — is just about perfect, thank you! 🙂 (I might have it printed and put up on my picture board).

    My latest lame excuse — and I don't know if it can get any lamer — is "I don't want to write a book, any book, because I love my stories and characters too much and I don't want this book I write to be "the first manuscript that never sold." I mean, seriously. I keep waiting to think about something I won't get attached to so I can easily part with it, but I fall in love every time :/ So, all I have is a bunch of stories and a few lose pages of each.

    But, umm, of COURSE I won't sell a manuscript if I don't write one :/

  9. JD Rhoades

    My excuse: "I've had a long and wearing day at work and I'm just too tired, I'll write more on the weekend to make up for it."

    Plenty of people have long and wearing days at one job and then change clothes and go to work at their second one.

    Quote: "I am supposed to be a writer, and unless I do a little writing everyday it’s hard to tell that’s what I am." -Otis Twelve

  10. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    From the day that someone other than me said I was a writer, I've never doubted it. Even if I wasn't writing, even if I didn't get the opportunity to do any writing, I knew I was a writer. It's that sense of "knowing" that has kept me going through the difficult times, when there has been little or no time for consistent writing. I know that everything I experience is fodder for the work, and that I'm always writing in my head even when I don't have time to sit at the desk. I used to get anxious when I saw everyone on Facebook posting how many words they wrote that day. My process is different. I'm writing the story, not the words. The story develops as it develops. Somedays there will be no words. I have to be comfortable with that. The story still develops.

  11. PK the Bookeemonster

    "Master your story; master your destiny." This is can also refer to one's personal story — the story about them. For a person who wants to write (which is your target audience for your keynote) their personal story could be something like "…and she decided to go for what she wanted, and with discipline wrote every chance she got. She researched the market, got an agent, and within x amount of time, WAS a published author." Or the personal story could be: "…. and she really WANTED to write but never made the time, always found ways not to do it. If only she knew that with a little effort she could have been a successfully published author instead of trudging to the office day in and day out for the next 20 years."
    Sometimes it's a matter of personal discovery too. When I was young and into my 20s, I wanted to be a writer. But digging deep down, I discovered I wanted to "have written" but not to write. and I much more prefer to read than to write. I didn't want to give up my reading at all. In my 40s, I discovered I wanted to help promote the world of reading crime fiction so I started my newsletter, Premeditated. I mastered my story and have (hopefully) mastered my future.
    Okay, done with the soap box.

  12. Allison Brennan

    Zoe, great advice. "Get on with it." I love it.

    Hilarious, Jude! I think writer's block exists, but it isn't what people think. I think there are three reasons why writers don't write. First, they don't have the skill. They have the desire, but really can't put the words to paper in the way they want. Those are the people who need to go back to basics and PRACTICE writing, take classes, learn, but keep writing even if it's total garbage. Or, it's personal (and I think this is the most common.) Fear of failure, fear of success, lack of support, ridicule, people demanding your time, you name it. Writers have to deal with those personal issues or they'll be paralyzed. The fear doesn't go away, but you can deal with it. If you don't have support, you have to look inside (because nobody but you cares if you'll be published.) If you are over-committed, step back and make the time to write if it's important. The other reason is you've written yourself into a hole. In that case, backtrack and write yourself out of the hole. I do this all the time! 🙂

    Inspiring story, Chris! I do think that people find "want" to be selfish. But if we're not happy with ourselves and what we're doing in life, how can we be an inspiration to others? If we're not happy, what is that saying to our kids? That happiness is a myth? That you can only find happiness elsewhere?

    Debbie, I am so lucky! Cleaning and laundry has never pulled me away from a story 🙂

  13. Allison Brennan

    Cornelia, exactly! We justify everything to make ourselves feel better 🙂 Like, "I'll have two margaritas tonight and add a mile on the treadmill tomorrow." And then, I don't go to the gym . . . 🙂

    Paula, I've done exactly that thing, and it's usually, "Well, I wrote twice as much yesterday, so I can do A, B, and C today." I write every day, but for me my production is directly related to when I start writing. The later I start, the less I get done. Fact. But I still try to convince myself that's not true.

  14. Allison Brennan

    "I think that when I decided that writing was a core part of the rest of my life I banished any chance of excuses to not write." Amen Catherine! Writing has always been part of me; without it, I wouldn't be the same person. I didn't write much for years after I had my first two kids. Work, family, husband . . . it wasn't until I was on maternity leave with my son that I read 77 books and rekindled my love of writing. I read some GREAT books and some real shitty books, but I opened up the computer and found a story I'd started a long time ago, realized the premise was great but the book was crap, so I deleted everything but the first chapter and started writing. And I've been writing daily ever since.

    Excellent point Barbie! I think we all need to remember that we should always write our best, but when we're done put it aside and write another book. (While querying agents, editing, etc!) Some people sell their first book. I wasn't one of them 🙂

    Dusty, as an advocate of daily writing I love your quote! And that being tired excuse, I've used that alot. Before AND after I quit my day job.

    Stephen, I completely agree–first that we all have our own process and we can't compare ourselves to others, and that the story is always working itself out whether we write or not.

    PK, you nailed it! Two different paths, and we have a choice. To write or not to write, but don't lie to ourselves about what our choice is. Thanks for the reminder about the target audience!

  15. Wanda

    I wished I lied to myself – I have another approach the ignore it and it will go away approach. I learned long time again that I am too OCD to write. I am the type who writes and then must edit because God forbide there be an error. The two do not go together so I leave the writing to others and I just read, read, read. My youngest wants to be a writer – thank God he does not have any of his mothers OCD so he might make it.

    I was in my mid 30"s and the best medicine for my OCD arrived – my first child. Try having kids and being OCD about everything in your live and theirs – it does not work so I have learned to give up on several things – like my spices are no longer in ABC order and it does not bother me (much) anymore. My house is no longer spotless but my kids are healthy and happy.

    I am sorry I can not provide any motivational quotes but here are the two sayings that are at the end of all my emails at work. They help remind me who is in control of my life and why I love being a mom so very much.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

    Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. Elizabeth Stone

    Allison, no matter what you come up with I know you will be a great keynote speaker next weekend at the Moonlight & Magnolia’s conference. Have fun!!


  16. pari noskin taichert

    Great post, Allison.

    Not sure if these are lies, but the best ways to keep myself from writing are to tell myself that I'm not as good a writer as . . . (fill in the name) or that my writing is "crap." Both of those are show-stoppers for me.

    However, I often recite this quote from James Thurber to get me moving again:
    Don't get it right; get it written.

    And since July 1, I've written every day. No exceptions. I post my word count on my "fan" page on FB. Doesn't matter if its 2600 words or 200. People hit the "like" button and I get a few virtual pats on the back. And I've found that the writing is now more fun than it was two months ago. It's getting more comfortable, flowing more often than not.

  17. Marie-Reine

    My last year of divinity school Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza asked me where my senior paper was. She was my senior paper advisor, so that was an important question. I have to say I was scared to death of her, since my entire future was in her grip. There was no getting around the fact that I hadn't written it. I'd taken an extra year just to not write it. I told Elisabeth the truth, that I couldn't write my theology, because I didn't even know what the fuck that meant. This was her motivator and great gift to me: "Vell, you haff two veeks to figure it out, wrrrrite it down, und hand it in– or you don't gvaduate." That worked.

  18. Chris2

    well I can't speak for anyone else, but I thought Scalzi nailed it right here:

    "And if you need inspiration, think of yourself on your deathbed saying “well, at least I watched a lot of TV.” If saying such a thing as your life ebbs away fills you with existential horror, well, then. I think you know what to do"


  19. Jill James

    Recently on Kristin Nelson's blog she talked about her father dying. He knew the trip to the hospital was his last and he didn't want to go without the book he had been reading. He didn't want to die with the book not finished, not knowing how it ended. What power books have. When we sit down to do this job, give it your all. Your story could be something really important to someone other than you.

  20. Debbie

    Master your story, master your destiny…but first choose a path. (Frost's poem linked here)
    I think Stephen nailed this one yesterday when he said, "The best I can be is a vessel to be filled with the story I have been consigned to tell." and Alex's response, "…we're definitely chosen – "consigned" – by certain stories because of who we are – our experiences make us capable of telling particular stories better than others."
    And maybe, just maybe, that is why we choose one path over the other.
    Whether you are a plotter or a panster some of the book is written on a subconscious level so Just choose a path, the mastery is complete; write with confidence, depend on the inner voice and let the words flow.

  21. JT Ellison

    I love this weekend at Murderati – we really are laying it bare, aren't we?

    Steven Pressfield's THE WAR OF ART is one of my faves to look to – I believe in resistance – and think that's more of what writer's block really is – fear. At this stage of the game, I see the pattern my block takes, and it's all me telling myself I need to fix this or do that first. It usually rears its head just after a book is totally finished and goes to press and I'm working on a new one. I suddenly lose sight of the path entirely. It takes about a month to get back in the emotional groove to feel like I'm writing well.

    My favorite writing quote: "The only rules are those you create page by page." ~ Stuart Woods

  22. Allison Brennan

    Wanda, I love both your quotes! And they are poignant and truthful, which is something we need to hear sometimes.

    You were lying to yourself in a way, though . . . that by ignoring it, it will go away, which we all know is not true! LOL. My daughter has some OCD tendencies, but not about perfection. She can't stand having the light in the pantry on or the door open; all the blinds in a room have to go the same way; and the volume on the TV has to be on an even number. I tell her she's just plain weird, but i love her anyway.

    Pari, I love, love, love that quote and am using it! I'm so glad you're writing every day. I'm a big advocate of daily writing, and I agree, it doesn't matter how many words as long as you're writing. For me, I don't care if I have to cut it tomorrow, it's part of the creative process to write, revise, cut, and write more.

    Marie, ROFLOL! I'm sure it wasn't fun at the time, but there is a great lesson here for all of us. Great advisor!

  23. Allison Brennan

    Chris, I loved that quote, too, and it's on my list for my speech. I gave up television for three years when I was working full-time, and those two hours EVERY NIGHT gave me my writing time. Because I didn't want to say, "Yes, I want to be a writer, BUT Law & Order is on." I watch TV again, but only when I record it or buy it on iTunes. I will never be a slave to the television schedule again. I watch when I get my work done, and it's my reward. I've found that I enjoy it much more than I used to.

    Jill, I'd read that and it was truly both sad and inspiring. We should always strive to do our best in everything, ala the Vince Lombardi quote: "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

  24. Allison Brennan

    Debbie, I love that poem, it is one of my favorites. And your comment was right on. I believe that much of my books are written subconsciously.

    Darynda, yes!!! You nailed one of the fundamental problems with (some) writers, they justify not writing because something else is more important. Other than family, there is nothing else more important (for me, at least.) But there are some days you'd think my email and facebook were the single most important thing in my life!

    Hi JT! I have THE WAR OF ART on my desk right now. Love that book

  25. Dudley Forster

    Once upon a time, there was a guy who said he wanted to write, but he couldn’t do it now because he was in law school. He’ll do it after he graduates. But practicing law was hard and he was too tired at the end of the day to write. It’ll get easier later he told himself, but then came a family and he had even less time. “Maybe when I make partner,” he said, “then I’ll write.” He made partner, but still no book. Then his illness got much worse. “Okay, I’ll write when it gets better,” he told himself, but it didn’t get better, there were just more and different drugs. “These side effects are awful. I’ll wait until the docs get the right combination.” They never did. One day the guy looked in the mirror and told himself he was full of crap. If he was going to write, he should just shut up and do it or decide he was one of the 98% who said they always wanted to write a book but never did.

    So he started writing, short stories, all crap in his opinion, but he kept writing. He told his therapist he was no good at it and was wasting his time. His therapist told him that was stupid, and was making excuses.

    He was right. I was making excuses and had been for years. The problem was fear – I was afraid, not so much of the blank page, although that can be terrifying, but of the hubris. Authors have always been my heroes, books my solace. Who was I to think I could write, that I had the magic. Since then I have come to understand that writing is a craft and like all crafts must be learned by the doing. So now, I write because I want to and I need to. I write to learn the craft. I can’t do anything about the magic, it is either there or it isn’t.

    But I am still afraid. Now the little voice is saying you screwed up, you waited too long. You’re 53 and too old. Funny how we set traps for ourselves, how the voices are so clever they can twist anything into a thought of failure.

    My quote – It’s on my computer monitor. “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” ~ Stephen King

  26. toni mcgee causey

    Nobody ever put a gun to my head and told me I had to write. It was always something I wanted to do, and if I'm going to spend my time on something, I'm going to do it as well as I possibly can, or die trying. I'm going to die at some point anyway–I want to know I gave it everything I could, while I could.

    Aside from the Yoda quote (which is my favorite, we think so much alike, Allison), I love the quote I saw from Max Adams a long time ago, because it was simple: Write like God.

    We're the god of our fictional world. We may need to rest at times, recharge those spiritual batteries, but we need to be honest about that, and honest about the fear, and honest about the fact that we're all still learning. But ultimately, we get to spend our time creating worlds and stories that transport other people, that affect them and change their lives. And not just people next door, but potentially, people around the world. That's an honor and a privilege.

    The other quote I love is "Writing isn't for sissies." or "Publishing isn't for sissies." Crafting a story, blending that dream with enough magic to intoxicate the reader and pull them from their world into our own make-believe universe, and do it well enough that they're entranced, that they feel like the people they're reading about are real, that they lived, breathe, and feel… is hard hard work. It takes, as Lee Child said in the post last week, "rigorous self-discipline."

    And when I'm staring the long haul in the eyes, sighting down the lines of three acts to go before I'm done, I remember that even dream homes are built brick by brick, nail by nail, choice by choice. I don't have to build Rome. I just have to build this one house. And today, I only have to drive a few nails. I can do that.

  27. Marie-Reine

    Thanks, Allison. If you think that's funny… she actually kind of liked it, and my own supervisees in later years said that it was still on reserve at the library. Elisabeth had it set out for students to read as a good example of the personal style of writing. Footnote: When I handed her my paper she gave me some money to go buy sugar cookies and coffee at the refectory. She is the nicest feminist Catholic theologian I ever met. Oh alright… she's the only one I ever met, but she is very nice when you're not afraid of her.

  28. Paula R.

    Allison, I do that sometimes too. I start later and say, I can do some many words in 30 minutes, so I still have time to get things done. Doesn't work that way at all. By the time evening gets here, I don't want to write, I want to read and just chill.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  29. Dao

    Although I don't like Nike's business practice, its slogan "Just Do It!" is still a good one. It is simple, yet touches to the core of my procrastinating self. Also, "There's nothing to fear but fear itself" by FDR is another one I live by. Yes, the beginning is always hard and staying the way you are involves less effort and energy. But if you let fear control you, 10 years or 20 years down the road, you will look back and say, "I wish I wrote that book."

    My dad once told me, "Don't do anything that makes you look back and say 'I wish.' If you want to do it, go ahead and do it. You take your chances and you learn."

    Also, knowing yourself is important. Since I know how competitive I am and I love to be rewarded, I joined 750words.com for more than a month. Although earning some virtual badges is silly, I actually thrive to earn them by not breaking the streak. So far, I'm in my 40th day of writing and it feels pretty good.

  30. Catherine

    Pari I can relate to your comparison fears. That was/is in my top ten of fears. That deer in the headlights admiration feeling still tries to wriggle free and thwart me. I figure this is also another accept it thing. That there will continue to be times where I've read something someone has written and have this carefully blended nano-second of 'Oh THAT is GOOD' and '#%&* I'm never'….I do a quick follow up now reminding myself that all I can control is my effort. I love that quote too.

    I'm glad you persisted through your fear and are able to find more fun.

    I thought I should mention Murderati has been a large part of helping me move past wanting to write to actually write. Reading everyone's very varied experiences has given me a more realistic idea of the work involved in writing. To the best of my recollection, not one of you over the years has said it's easy, but you do serve a great example that there are many ways to get it done.

  31. JM Kelley

    You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair–the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page. -Stephen King

    That quote right there. Love, love, love it. Use it as my excuse to act like a crazy woman when I'm writing.

  32. pari noskin taichert

    Oh, Catherine.
    Thank you.

    I have to say that when we founded Murderati, I never expected to learn so much from it. Every day I look forward to what these wonderful cohorts of mine have to say. It's just such a pleasure and an honor.

  33. Dudley Forster

    Debbie – Yes, I successfully defeated the laundry monster. What I need is laundry monster repellent to keep it from coming back. Today, we had toxic cleanup day, removing biohazards from the frig. No, I did not choose to do that as a method of procrastination from writing – I’m not that crazy!

    Dusty – How you write and practice law still remains a mystery to me. It’s not the tired part, it’s the fried brain part. However you do it, it’s impressive.

    Judie – I love the Jack London quote , one of my favorites.

    Stephen – I envy that assurance

    Toni – You are an unstoppable force.

    Pari – Your word count is an inspiration. You crunch count is proof of insanity.

    JT – You’re really hard on my book budget. The second time in a week you’ve mentioned a book I need to read.

    Allison – Great post. I do have two other quotes. I as for the first, I’m sure Terry Pratchett was kidding when he said, "There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write." <g>

    The other is by Dean Kootz, "Writing a novel is like making love, but it's also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it's like making love while having a tooth pulled."

  34. Laura

    All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney.

    I want to go back and study through distance education. I never made it into the course I wanted to get into and have since tried other courses but have dropped out twice. I am terrified I'll fail – again. I've pinned this quote above my desk. And underneath is a picture of Alex Cabot from Law & Order SVU. :p I've wanted to study law for 10 years. But since I never made those marks when I finished high school 6 years ago, I was always too scared to give it a shot.

    The most inspirational book I have ever read was "Without You" by Anthony Rapp.
    "Forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way – no day but today" – RENT.

    Oh – and if I'm going to get all musical theatre-y I'd have to put in:

    This is the moment!
    Damn all the odds!
    This day, or never,
    I'll sit forever
    With the gods! – Jekyll & Hyde

    As for what my excuse is for procrastinating: it's currently Monday afternoon. Slow day, not a heap of customers. And I'm on Murderati. I work in a bookshop. So I tell myself it's kind of work related…

  35. Allison Brennan

    Laura, thank you for reminding me of the Disney quote! I love that 🙂

    Dudley, I'm from California . . . 😉

    Toni, love, love, love the "Writing isn't for sissies." Perfect. I'm going to use that, too!

    Thank you everyone for commenting. Sorry I went AWOL yesterday afternoon, but I took my teens to see EASY A — great movie. B+. I didn't love some of the stereotypes, but the dialogue and humor were right on. I love Emma Stone, really enjoyed her performance!

    WINNER!!!! The randomly picked winner is commenter #13, (skipping Murderati members in the count) . . . DEBBIE! Debbie email me at allison@allisonbrennan.com with your snail mail address and I'll send you off a signed copy of OVERBITE!!!

  36. Debbie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have seriously never won anything before in my life unless you count the trip to Disney that I found out about after the contest was over-long, stupid story of a child, a Halloween chocolate bar, and a messy room!

    A friend and I, the one who'd come get me from an airport-see Murderati Mon. Sept.27, has just moved to a house with a fireplace! and we're thinking, along with a group of friends, about getting together and reading the stories by candlelight! (Of course, being that we're all in our forties, we'll probably have some glaring light on too, killing the ambiance.)
    Do you think Robert Gregory Brown will come serenade us on his daughter's Les Paul? I want to hear Dark Carbuncle!!! What can I get you? I'm thinking of chocotini's because my friends and I are all just slightly maturer versions of kids, but I'm sure we could fix a wicked Rita-tini! for you if we tried! Hope the speech writing and delivery goes well and thanks again!

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