Saturday, March 08, 2008

Orwell on Fear and Writing

"Good novels are written by people who are not frightened."

That's from George Orwell, author of some fairly daring novels: 1984 and Animal Farm.

And I know he's right. I had a lot of struggle with my previous novel Sister India, until I pretty much gave up on seeing it published in my lifetime and started revising it to be the way I'd want to leave it when I'm gone. (I did make sure that included a pretty fast-paced plot.) When I finished that revision, my agent sold it in 2.5 weeks.

I think that in letting go (mostly) of how the book would be received, I also let go of fear and the concommitant strain on the writing. Not so easy for me to do until it seems that there are no other options. I may need to learn how to switch into that attitude from the beginning.

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