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RESOURCES-TIPS: For writers of all genre who want to write, and the readers who love them.

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn't matter a damn how you write.
- Somerset Maugham

All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary -- it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
- Somerset Maugham

Anecdotes don't make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.
- Alice Munro

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs

Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil -- but there is no way around them.
Isaac Asimov

To write fiction, one need a whole series of inspirations about people in an actual environment, and then a whole lot of work on the basis of those inspirations.
- Aldus Huxley

Get it down.  Take changes.  It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good.
- William Faulkner

Books aren't written, they're rewritten.  Including our own.  It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it.
- Michael Crichton

Any man who keeps working is not a failure.  He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.
- Ray Bradbury

Mommy’s Muse

RESOURCES-TIPS, Writer's Life

By Jennifer L. Doloski

At 1:30 p.m. the nap-time race begins. With a kiss, I lay the baby in her crib. I shut my elder daughter’s bedroom door and sprint to the den. For the next stretch of time, 45 minutes on a bad day, 2 hours if the alignment of the planets is just so, I get to be a writer. When the nursery monitor cackles I send my muse home for the day and become Mommy once more.

For as long as I can remember, except for when I was three years old and wanted to be a giraffe, I have wanted to be a writer. First came college, and then full-time employment, and then marriage. I dabbled in writing much as a stifled artist might doodle potential masterpieces in the margins of her appointment book. Then came motherhood. At last, I thought, home with my children, I might actually begin to write.

And begin I did. Beginning was never a problem; I had ideas clawing their way out of my mind and onto paper. Finishing was another story. Teething, nightmares, thunderstorms, and dirty diapers took turns scaring my muse to the far recesses of my mind. While I had some success writing for the local newspaper and published a few essays online, I began to think that motherhood and dreams of a writing career were not compatible.

I was seven months pregnant with my second child when I entered a short story competition. Having been given a prompt, I had twenty-four hours to write and submit an entry. The prompt had to do with shortcuts. As I stared at the computer’s blank screen, the baby within me began a gymnastics routine. Using my condition as inspiration, I wrote a tale of childbirth from the unborn’s perspective, the shortcut being a c-section delivery. I had no experience with surgical childbirth, as my first daughter was born after an uncomplicated labor and delivery. To tell my tale, I incorporated details from friends’ experiences and television documentaries. I was ecstatic when I won first place in the contest and publication on the sponsor’s web site.

I went into labor ten days early. Things were progressing normally, but the doctor became concerned when monitoring of the baby indicated fetal distress. We were discussing the situation and our options when the baby’s heart rate plummeted. The doctor ordered an emergency c-section and my second daughter was born nine minutes later.

It was only a few hours later that the realization hit. Anna and I had written her birth story weeks before she was born. Perhaps my muse wanted to show me that motherhood is not hindering my ability as a writer; it is shaping me.

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