Blog Chain: What Keeps Me Writing?

The question asked by Laura D. in this month's blog chain, and answered so far by her, Lydia K., Danyelle L. is: "What Keeps You Writing?" My answer?


And I offer along alongside it my explanation in verse. *clears throat*

Momentum. Em-oh-em-ee-en-tee--oops, this is a dramatic reading and not a spelling bee. Apologies.


Imagine a depth charge set off in a harbor
Releasing its concentric ripples
Each one troubles the surface of the water
and rushes to topple the ships that are left
at the docks.

If the blast was a weak one, set off in those waters
Then the boats at the edge might just nudge one another
Whispering in the wooden way that ships have
Strung together in their fate but not caring so much--
Because small ripples are just that.

But if the charge was explosive enough to
Knock the water near clear of its salt
Like boatmen releasing their ships to tsunamis
You untether your vessel at the dock and dive in
Riding the ripples, but not quite keeping up
Until, kicking your legs to create waves of your own,
You reach the horizon after all.

That's momentum, mighty depth charge
tolling boom and aftershock
So, go on, let it carry you out on its back
lest it splinter you to bits on the dock.

Boom! There's your depth-charge. Momentum - rather, being unwilling to lose crucial momentum - is what keeps me writing. So what are you gonna do with yours??


Anonymous | April 28, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Wow, powerful answer! Awesome! :D

It's true, isn't it? I'm on "writing holiday" these next couple of weeks and I'm concerned it will be hard to get back in it because of lost momentum. Hmmm...something to ponder, for sure.

Zoe C. Courtman | April 28, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Thanks, Laura!! No, you've completed a draft, and you NEED critical resting time!! But you're right: the opposite of momentum is inertia, so it's always a struggle to dive back in. Hey, but once you do - you'll create a small splash. The trick is to just keep riding those ripples :D

Lizard301 | April 28, 2010 at 11:06 AM

literal definition of inertia is "a body at rest tends to stay at rest; and a body in motion tends to stay in motion," ergo inertia actually applies to both.

I frequently tell people inertia is my greatest strength AND my greatest weakness. :) I love that I wouldn't need to "explain" my rationale to you, because you're there with me!

Zoe C. Courtman | April 28, 2010 at 11:11 AM

See, Lisa, this is why I love you -- AND Newton's laws of motion :D

Alesa Warcan | April 28, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Heheh, copywriter, horror writer, metaphoric literary philosopher, and now spin doctor...

That was interesting and expressive way of putting it; one that really gives me a sense of what writing, and more specifically, what drives you to write feels like to you.

Zoe C. Courtman | April 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Hi, Alesa. Thanks for commenting! I guess it is a decent example of what writing feels like for me: violent. LOL!!

Alesa Warcan | April 28, 2010 at 12:02 PM

My pleasure, but really, thanks for writing interesting posts.

Does that violence help you express yourself in your chosen style? Or does it just coincide?

And that's how everyone found out how those letters on your keyboard got typed off...
Zoe, 3am, "Just one more page..." BAM BAM BAM BAM... (sound of violent typing).

The next door neighbor approaches Zoe's dark and forbidding home... His first few steps were fueled by anger at being awoken by what he thinks is carpentry at an ungodly hour, but he is having second thoughts, probably even third thoughts too... His cotton nightgown and yellow fluffy slippers do a poor job of fending of the early morning chill. The neighborhood is unnaturally deserted and quiet save for the banging which gets louder as he approaches the house. He is on the doorstep, twitchy, and wondering whether to knock or go home and lock the door... Finally, he says to himself, "Come on you're a grown man... Be angry. Be assertive." And he raises his hand to knock when, but then realizes that something has changed. Something he can't quite place. Then it strikes him: the banging has stopped! Sudden unearthly screaming and shouting interrupts the clammy chill tap dancing down his spine! Finally, the neighbor's courage fails him and he flees loosing his slippers in his haste to go home...

Zoe, "Yeeeeah! Hot damn! Wooohooo! [...]It's finished at last! 100 000 words!"

Zoe C. Courtman | April 28, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Alesa, you TOTally get the award for most awesome comment evah! LOLZ!

Danyelle | April 28, 2010 at 1:03 PM

*grin* Love the depth charge. :) Momentum is a great asset to keeping going for sure!

Zoe C. Courtman | April 28, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Thanks Danyelle! This blog chain is FUN man!! Whew KNEW explosions could blast from it?? :)

Lydia Kang | April 28, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Oh I need that momentum. I lost it this week bc of house guests and a trip away...Can you send one of the blast-charge thingys over to my brain?

Zoe C. Courtman | April 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Depth-charge on its way!


Felt that, right?? Now get back to writing! LOL

Alesa Warcan | April 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Oooh! So tempting to say something ambiguous about the illegality of shipping explosives or mind-altering substances.

Carolyn V. | April 28, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Wow Zoe. That was amazing. I think the thing that keeps me moving is the feeling I get when I know I accomplished something with my writing that week (well, that and chocolate). It's awesome!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) | April 28, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Cool post. My momentum is (like Carolyn) a supply of chocolate and the thrill of finishing a revision or a chapter. I love being stuck on something, figuring it out and then reshaping it. Kinda satistying when I sit back and go "Ahhhh."

Zoe C. Courtman | April 28, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Oh, thanks Carolyn! Oh, man, I love that feeling, too - especially when I'm done with a particularly difficult scene or chapter.

Hey, Lindsay! Thanks for commenting - and reminding me that the cool "ahhh" moments do come :D

Creepy Query Girl | April 29, 2010 at 2:51 AM

Momentum is key,- if your story pushes you along, you know it will probably push the reader along as well! Enjoy the ride!

The Alliterative Allomorph | April 29, 2010 at 4:22 AM

I'm constantly losing my momentum due to my job. Unfortunate, but unavoidable. I especially hate it when I'm really getting into it and I can't continue. Great post!

Talli Roland | April 29, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Totally agree! If you keep sitting down in the chair, plugging away at it, you'll get there!

Christine Fonseca | April 29, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Fabulous answer Zoe! And one I totally needed to hear...thanks!

Zoe C. Courtman | April 29, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Hey, Creepy - ain't that the truth. I was wondering recently about that very thing in a chapter that I struggled with. Turns out, there wasn't enough momentum in the scene, so it had to be cut. Great comment!

Ooh, I hate that, Alliterative. And I know what you mean.

Hiya, Talli! I agree - and for me, that fear of losing momentum, is what keeps me in the chair :D

Christine!! I'm so glad the post helped! Thanks!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh | April 30, 2010 at 11:31 AM

I'm using my momentum to complete a sequel to my upcoming book release.

Zoe C. Courtman | April 30, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Hi, Alex! Thanks so much for dropping in. Congrats on the upcoming book release - and on the sequel! Good luck :D

Tahereh | April 30, 2010 at 12:37 PM

great post zoe! i love that you brought up the brilliance of momentum -- it's something we often overlook!

also, can i say i just LOVE you new profile pic? GORGEOUSSSS!!!



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