Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sibella Giorello (Advice for Novelists, Part 57)

It's a pleasure to continue this Advice for Novelists series. I've asked editors, authors, agents and publicists their response to the question:

"If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?"

I'm honored to feature today a favorite author of mine, Sibella Giorello. Here's her response:

Ask yourself: "What do I love to do, besides write?"

Then kill it.

Seriously, if you're going to write, sacrifices have to be made. For instance, I really enjoy visiting with friends. But I can't write novels, home school my kids and chat with friends. Although it was torture doing so, I pared down my social time in a serious way. I rarely go to parties, I don't talk on the phone. This means I miss some friends, and bow out of events that sound wonderful, but my writing output has soared.

Another example: A friend is working on his first novel, as yet unpublished. But with a full-time job and a family, something had to give in order to finish the book. He chose to sacrifice what he adores--his workout. Now he parks his car several blocks from work, takes the stairs wherever he goes, and uses the hours saved to write. That sacrifice, as much as his talent, tell me he's on his way to success.

So, ask yourself: What do you love to do, besides write? Then give it up. And start writing.

--Sibella Giorello, Pulitzer Prize nominee and author of The Stones Cry Out (Revell) as well as the forthcoming The Rivers Run Dry (Feb. '09 from Nelson).


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I gave up crafts and crocheting. This means staying out of A. C. Moore and Michael's (two well-known craft emporiums in our area). It's too tempting, but there are only so many hours in a day.

Susan :)

SolShine7 said...

I have another quote of hers that I put on my MySpace page for the longest time. It really touched my heart!

SolShine7 said...

Here it is:

"My favorite part is dreaming while wide-awake. As I write, another world appears. A wonderful sensation. And a small glimpse into what God must have felt, creating an entire world, then populating it with free will. I figure at any given moment He’s totally delighted, or despairing."

from her interview with Novel Journey

C.J. Darlington said...

Thanks for posting, Solshine7! That's a great quote!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great advice - especially at the beginning of a new year when we can take stock, evaluate how much we do we really want to write, and how much WILL WE WRITE - WHAT WILL WE GIVE UP to write??? I love not only to write, but to read - will I give up a bulk of my reading time to write. If not, then perhapsp I will destine myself to just to read other great writers and not to become a great writer! The choice is mine - is yours - what will we give up. Show us Lord.