It comes, unsurprising, from Lani Tupu. This man has had the most influence on my writing, one way or another.
Once upon a time I loved a show called Farscape. Through a series of events that I'm not going to go into now, I fell out of the fandom and stopped writing (at that time I was solely writing fanfic). In 2007, almost five years after all that, I rewatched it.
Very, very quickly I remembered why I loved it, and why I loved the character I did. Within the space of two episodes, I found my fingers itching to write again. I picked up a very old fanfic and began to write. That was October. By November, I was deep in NaNoWriMo, writing an epic fic. December, someone told me that it was too good to sit on a fansite and that I should rewrite it as original.
Now "scratching off the serial numbers" (as it was put) sounds easy, but let me tell you - it wasn't. I had to reinvent the wheel, redefine characters, and rewrite everything I'd done. There were times I felt despair, that I couldn't do it, that I was off my trolley to even try.
Then I read an interview with Lani and one thing he said reached out and clipped me around the head:
"If you take the shackles off your imagination, you can go anywhere with science fiction. It's not earthbound. There are no conventions, other than the ones you want to break, and that's why it's so exciting."
I stopped feeling sorry for myself and buckled down. I snagged that quote and out it in every signature I had, which meant everytime I posted I saw it. Like the proverbial carrot... or stick, it kept me going, kept me focused.
The novel isn't finished yet. It has grown and morphed into something incredibly epic, and it's going to take a long time to write. I'm in no real rush. Sometimes I'll put it aside and work on another project, chopping and changing, keeping myself and my ideas fresh.
It's not the conventional approach to writing, but that is a convention that I chose to break.
Written for Josie's Writing Workshop