Inde Express

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06 février 2008

Write a novel in 15 minutes


I know! Again we are changing subject... But, believe me you cannot progress as a journalist if you do not focus on the writing itself a little. I bought a book last year during my dark, very dark period from a very talented American lady who happens to be teaching at UCI (where I stayed for a few months but, that's another story). Please allow me to introduce her to you....

Barbara Demarco-Barrett is the author of Pen on Fire, published by Harvest Books. The inspirational book about writing, teaches the reader how to complete a writing project by working on it for only 15 minutes everyday. Dedicated mainly to the women, who tend to be the busiest, it is a useful reading for men as well. And it works. Barbara managed to complete her own book by using this technique.

Q : How did you get the idea of your book  Pen on Fire ?

A : I love writing books, especially inspirational ones. I was teaching a private writing class at my house. I had a student who was always inspired when she came to class but then, she would go home and not write. And then again, she would come to class be productive and stopped writing when she was back home. This situation happened various times. She told me once : « If you could come home and live with me, I think I would be able to get my writing done. » Of course, she was joking. And I said :« I have a husband and a baby but I will write a book for you. » It is this flip comment on my part that made me think I should write a book for her and all my other students.

Q :What happened next ?

A: I wanted Pen on Fire to be the kind of book I like to read about writing. That is really how it began : try to find an idea to keep Robin and the others inspired when they were not in class. All this happened eight years before I actually sold the book. It took several agents and titles before Pen on Fire was published. Originally, I did not have the slant of time, of using little pieces of time to write a book.  It was too much like other books about writing. There was really not anything special in it at first.

Q : How long did it take from the writing to the publishing ?

A :The entire process took eight years. You have writing, revision, editing. And at the beginning, I was working on various other projects at the same time, a memoir, pieces about India…. The idea of time came only a year before I sold the project. It did not come out before I learned enough from editor rejection comments. I had to think about what I was doing that was different. It then became clear that what I was doing was teach people how to use the time they had. It was not important to write thousand words or three pages  a day. It was the way they used the little bits of time the had left.

Q :How did you develop the idea ?

A :My students often complained about the lack of time and not the lack of ideas.  They felt frustrated about not having a week or even just a complete hour. I started to look at the way I was having my own writing done. At that time, my son was two. I worked on different things for pay then, like Public Relation and non-fiction writing. I could not afford to work full time on a project that may or may not sell. I started watching carefully at how I was using my own time. I was writing when Travis was taking a nap or while I was cooking. I noticed I was rushing to the computer when I had a few minutes and that ended in me writing a paragraph. I could not find a book which addressed the issue of time

(to be continued)

Posté par Sujatha à 11:00 - In English - Commentaires [3] - Permalien [#]


  • Sujatha , ça c'est un article génial pour moi qui comme tu l'as peut être vu sur mon Blog , ai commencé mon roman sur Le Distilbéne et Ambra ..., je me sers d'une technique trés similaire et j'adore ton billet ..

    Posté par garance, 15 février 2008 à 14:58
  • Son livre est génial et son blog en est un prolongement intéressant. Bon courag epour ton projet et tiens moi au courant!

    Posté par Sujatha, 15 février 2008 à 16:37
  • merci je te tiens au courant mais ça risque de prendre du temps , en attendant le premier livre de cuisine est fini pour ma part maintenant c'est aux éditeurs de travailler ..@ bientot

    Posté par garance, 21 février 2008 à 08:24

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