Wordy Wednesday – Hemingway On First Drafts

Sure, Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest writers of all time but that doesn’t mean everything he wrote was gold – especially first drafts. Nobody is perfect and neither is writing! Sometimes you just have to power through that hot, steaming pile of…drafts and then edit, rewrite, and repeat.

Wordy Wednesday - Hemingway on First Drafts peaceofwriting.com

 

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The Old Astronomer To His Pupil by Sarah Williams

A couple months ago I went to a local planetarium for a star watching party and as I gazed upon the sky, I was reminded me of this poem verse, “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night,” from The Old Astronomer To His Pupil by Sarah Williams. I somewhat forgot about the memory until I was reminded of that night when I saw news of the Falcon 9 launch happening in several days not too far from where I live. The famous verse is often attributed to Galileo Galilei but nope, it’s from Sarah Williams, a 19th century English poet and novelist (I love this verse and astronomy so much I even have a t-shirt of it). Here is the poem in it’s entirety – enjoy!

Reach me down my Tycho Brahé, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, ‘tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men’s fellowship and wiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.

You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant’s fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight;
You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night.
I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known.
You “have none but me,” you murmur, and I “leave you quite alone”?

Well then, kiss me, – since my mother left her blessing on my brow,
There has been a something wanting in my nature until now;
I can dimly comprehend it, – that I might have been more kind,
Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind.

I “have never failed in kindness”? No, we lived too high for strife,–
Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life;
But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still
To the service of our science: you will further it? you will!

There are certain calculations I should like to make with you,
To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true;
And remember, “Patience, Patience,” is the watchword of a sage,
Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age.

I have sown, like Tycho Brahé, that a greater man may reap;
But if none should do my reaping, ’twill disturb me in my sleep
So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name;
See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame.

I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak;
Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak:
It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,–
God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.

Unusual Jobs of Famous Writers [Infographic]

I love reading about people’s lives before they became famous because it reminds me they used to be in the same boring boat as the rest of us. While the infographic is fun and done well, it would have been cool to see a greater diversity of authors. (I gotta admit though, Jack London being an oyster pirate is pretty bad ass.)

Original source: https://unplag.com/blog/writers-weird-jobs/

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Joined a women’s writing group

About a month ago a guy that I was dating forwarded me a link to a group organized for people interested in learning how to survive in a post-apocalyptic zombie world. Yes, you read that right…I personally thought the idea was awesome (I’m a huge Walking Dead fan) and we both laughed about it later. Well, the point of the story though is that this group introduced me to a website called Meetup.com where the group was founded. If you haven’t heard of Meetup I’ll quickly explain the concept behind it. Meetup is a place where you can find a wide variety of groups and clubs, you can join as many groups as you like and even start your own. Groups vary from sports, social, culinary, professional networking, dating, art, music, pet owners – the list goes on.

After me and the guy called it quits, I figured this was a perfect time to start meeting new people. I’ve lived in Orlando since February and I haven’t really made a lot of friends. I’ve dated, hung out with my sisters and their friends, and occasionally gotten drinks with coworkers but I still haven’t made any gal pals of my own. I decided to keep an open mind and signed up for a whole bunch of different groups like kickball, girls night out, book club, even a belly dancing group. Recently though, I’ve come across a group that I’m pretty excited about. It’s called the Women Writers Group. It was a group that was recently started and there were no members in it when I first stumbled upon it. I was apprehensive in joining such a new group but I thought that this could really be an opportunity for me to be a part of something really cool. All the other groups I’ve joined had lots of members and felt a little impersonal. As soon as I joined I got a warm friendly message from the founder.

Since I’ve joined, which hasn’t been long, 12 other women have joined. It may not sound like a lot but I prefer quality over quantity any ways. Our first meet up is in September and I’m really looking forward to it. I joined Meetup with the intention of making friends but if I walk away meeting other women writers and we can grow and learn from one another, that’s way better then all the happy hours and Sunday games combined. I think it’s important meeting other writers and sharing your work, receiving feedback, and appreciating the talent of fellow writers. It’s intimidating sharing something as personal as your work with strangers (or anybody for that matter) but if you don’t have the balls to do it, how can you ever expect to get anywhere in your career let alone get published? For me, I know I’ve got a long way to go in my writing but I’m going to take any opportunity I can get to challenge and improve myself. Even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable….

Why being a newbie writer kinda sucks

It’s a little intimidating sometimes being a newcomer in the writing game. For one thing, there’s just SO MANY writers! Not saying that they’re all great but the sheer number of writers (professional, amateur, part time) is staggering. I know I get a little overwhelmed when I think about how many people I’m competing against when I apply for a writing job or how many other people have writing blogs out there. I know that in any field there’s going to be people who are better, worse, or just as good as you but I feel like writing is a little different. For one thing, you don’t need a degree or even experience to get into the field. It definitely helps to have it but it’s not required. Another thing that sucks about being a newbie is that not many people will give you the opportunity to write for them. They want people with experience and published work but how can you get that experience if nobody will give it to you? Even when I apply for writing jobs just to build my portfolio (aka doing it for free) I usually don’t hear back.

Despite these facts, there are some advantages to being a new writer. One advantage is that you’re not pegged into a particular genre, medium, or format. The future is wide open and you’re able to explore different paths. Another advantage is the Internet. Aaaah, the Internet….my friend, salvation, and heart breaker. There’s a lot of opportunities to get your work out there through social media, blogs (like what I’m doing), and forums.  The Internet also allows you to view thousands upon thousands of job listings and apply to as many as your little fingers can stand. You might not hear back from any of them but at least the law of averages is on your side. With that being said, being a newbie writer, or a newbie anything, kinda sucks but it can also be kinda rewarding depending on how you go about getting experience and mastering your craft.