Sally Koslow on The Leonard Lopate show (above) and Fox & Friends (below).
Sally Koslow on HuffPost Live (above).
This year my top resolution after eat five veggies a day is finish novel. Since 2007, I’ve written four novels and one work of non-fiction, each taking about two years to complete. My pace was allegro. Book #6, however, is advancing at adagio.
I’d been beating myself up about this until I stumbled upon a quote from Israel’s most prominent author. Writing a novel, Amos Oz explains, “is like reconstructing the whole of Paris from Lego bricks. It’s not about who will live and who will die and who will go to bed with whom. Those (decisions) are the easy ones. It’s about choosing adjectives and adverbs and punctuation. These are molecular decisions that…nobody will appreciate, for the same reason that nobody ever pays attention to a single note in a symphony…except when the note is false. So you have to work very hard in order for your readers not to note a single false note. That is the business of three-quarters-of-a-million decisions.”
Please understand: by no means do I compare myself to the great Oz. I’m not reconstructing Paris. West Fargo, if I’m lucky. But after reading about Mr. Oz’s habits I feel better about my pace, which is slow partly because I’ve become a writer who deliberates between words as if she were selecting diamonds for a tiara. Another reason is that I’ve started more than one book.
May the best book win, ideally before we ring in 2016.
Lest you think I’m a complete sloth, I’ve also been writing essays (which, btw, are as close to a memoir as I intend to get). One shares advice that I, who've been married for a freaking long time, have gleaned from second wives. In another, you can learn how and why I resisted Christmas in my childhood home of North Dakota. In a third I reveal my sex life. Really.
The third string in my bow is teaching creative writing. In addition to pro bono classes at libraries, I have a class coming up, “How to Polish your First Drafts,” at the Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, as well as a “Start Your First Novel” workshop in Manhattan.
Whether you hoof along at a power walk or a plod, I wish you well. Life isn’t a race.
P.S. Please follow me on Twitter: @sallykoslow and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.