36 Comments

That is a great outlook on writing a novel. If it is not your livelihood, why not take the time to make it great? You continue to inspire.

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Jan 25Liked by Elle Griffin

Love the honesty

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So this inspired me to listen to Andre 3000 and wow his latest does not disappoint o.o

I also deeply relate to your approach to creating a masterpiece — I either have 3 or 1 full-length books in me (maybe a 3-in-1?), and tbh part of why I started writing on Substack was to develop the habits of writing that will eventually allow me to write a real book.

Also in general I'm a fan of rest, slowness, intention; basically Satya's Going Gently approach. It's lovely to see you take your time with this project. I think it'll be so much better because of it.

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The masterpiece pressure is too much for me. I’m in pursuit of solid and fun. I want to entertain people and feel like I have potentially infinite books in me. I think also if a writer is your fav writer, you’d gladly read tons of books by them. And we never know who may love our books or who they will touch.

But I get wanting to take more time.

I’m def not a writer who can release a book a month and even yearly is really pushing it for me. I also put a lot of my own intellectual explorations into my novels, maybe too much.

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Bravo. I am constantly amazed at how long it takes to write fiction. Donna Tartt takes about 10 years for her novels. Robert Heinlein worked on “Stranger in a Strange Land” for decades. My fiction writing process has slowed way down because it takes painstaking effort to remove the preachiness and agenda in favor of art.

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As you might've noticed, I'm currently reading 'Dune' with other writers. It took Frank Herbert six years of dedicated work to write this novel. He became an ecologist in the process and later on built his own sustainable house and dubbed himself a techno-peasant. Despite all the criticism around his writing style etc., his story remains a masterpiece because it meant something to him. It was more than just a novel. This is how I aspire to write as well.

And from what I read in this piece, this is how you aspire to write yourself. And I think it's wonderful. Fiction writers can be entertainers, but they can also be philosophers. In any case, to write a good book, the advice to 'write what you know' is sound advice.

This year I want to focus on finishing my first book and I decided not to write much else. Once I have a good draft of all the remaining stories, I will start refining and publishing them one by one. If I don't do this, I will never finish my book. My newsletter might suffer in the meantime, but this is the decision I had to take.

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I came to the same realisation recently too. I realised that while I've been writing fiction since 2000, and may still want to write SOME fiction, I no longer want to write fiction exclusiely on my Substack. For some reason, I never thought I could pivot from this stance. I've always been one who tries to be "disciplined about things", mostly because I seem to flit from interest to interest, and I tried to be consistent with my fiction writing result. But we should follow where our muse leads us and sometimes the places are unexpected. I was waiting eagerly for this and you did not dissapoint ;)

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founding

Listening to the Andre 3000 album now. I didn’t know it had released.

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founding

Love this sentiment. I’m currently grappling with how to improve my writing and haven’t posted as much fiction lately because I’m realizing that I don’t just want to regurgitate ideas but to craft something unique or timeless. Whether I can achieve that remains to be seen, but embracing the journey has been enlightening. Thanks, Elle, for the inspiration!

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