Episode #11 – Driving at Night

Today, we have the rare treat of a fifth Thursday vlog with writing advice from an accomplished writer.

Our spotlight falls on a quote from multi-award-winning American novelist, editor, and professor E.L. Doctorow. He is best known for historical fiction, including The Book of Daniel, Ragtime, and World’s Fair.

In an interview, he said, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

This is a helpful perspective in writing, especially if you are a person who wants to know how your story will start and finish and the structure of the middle before you write the first word.

Doctorow reinforces the idea that we can begin or move forward with our writing project even if we do not know everything about it yet. It is scary to feel so unsure, but trust the process. You will know when you need to know.

There you have it—a little writing wisdom from a well-known author to accompany you on your writing journey.

If needing to know is something you struggle with, print out Doctorow’s quote and paste it on your computer.

What helps you let go when you feel like you need to know? Share it with us in the comments section below.

Remember, the only way to do this wrong is not to do it at all!

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Until next time, happy writing.

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Julie Folkerts
1 year ago

I agree with Kit. I have trouble with this every day, but I will continue to write on and hopefully fill a connection appear sooner than later. Thanks for including this topic in your VLOG, Patricia.

1 year ago

2022 has been a year of numerous alerts concerning my stay on this particular planet. Although I love the number 66 I would like to go ahead for a while yet. On the 22 nd of December I collapsed to the ground in total darkness. A black out from which subsist questions or desires to be published…again. I just love it. I had neglected the French project I joined 8 months ago. Backed by my most fulfilling experience with Life Writers I took upon me to go back to the writing exercises left at # 6. I managed in the… Read more »

Kit Dwyer
1 year ago

Thank you for speaking on this valuable topic, Patricia! I am currently reading Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like an Artist:10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative. Kleon’s advice about the same feeling you mention, Patricia: when none of your work seems to be related or will come together… “Don’t throw any of yourself away. Don’t worry about a grand scheme or unified vision of your work. Don’t worry about unity–what unifies your work is the fact that you made it. One day you’ll look back and it will all make sense.” I’m on board with Etya’s comment too –… Read more »

Etya Krichmar
1 year ago

Another great presentation, Patricia! Trust your gut feeling and the Universe will take care of the rest! I ask Universe every day for help to guide me in the right direction.

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