Is it talent or perseverance that drives success? And what creates a bestselling novel: inspiration or discipline? Author Linda L. Richards insists that, just maybe, it’s both.
“I don’t care what you’re doing, you can’t just sit around and have great ideas,” says Richards. “You have to do something with them. Talent without discipline just makes you a pretty empty suit.
Masterpieces are not crafted overnight, and the same holds true for written works of art. It is through the layers of daily practice that words gain the power to leave an indelible mark on the minds of readers.
Part of Richards discipline is writing all of her fiction first drafts in longhand.
“Isn’t that crazy? In this era of technology. And yet,” she says, “there’s a certain beauty to that simplicity.”
In an era dominated by digital technology, there is an undeniable allure to the act of expressing thoughts with pen and paper. Richards understands this sentiment well. She sys that, for her, writing by hand is a tangible connection with the material—a visceral link that breathes life into the emotions of the situations and characters she creates.
In the realm of wordplay, Richards believes that the act of writing by hand is akin to diving into a boundless sea of imagination. It is a transformative journey that allows writers to discover the essence and charm of characters who were once beyond their reach. Additionally, she says, the process of writing in longhand engages our brains in a rewarding dance of creativity and connection.
Along with everything else, doing her first drafts in longhand allows for real mobility. “I write in airports, and then on planes. I write at my club, in cafes, and restaurants. The beauty: you don’t ever have to stop if you don’t want to. No batteries. Nothing to charge. Just you and your notebook and pen. There’s a certain purity to that.”
Richards says she writes every day. “Not everyone wants to do that, and that’s all right. For me, it keeps the whole thing in high memory. It keeps me connected with the story I’m working on. The more time away from my current work, the more difficult it is to find my way back there.”
Renowned for her captivating crime fiction, Richards’ most recent book is Dead West, the third in the Endings series of noir thrillers featuring an unnamed hitwoman struggling for redemption. The first book in the series, Endings, has been optioned by a major studio for series production.
Richards dedication to the craft of writing and her commitment to handwritten expression serve as an inspiration to aspiring authors, highlighting the enduring power of daily practice and the profound connection between the written word and the human experience.
You can connect with Richards at her web site at lindalrichards.com or subscribe to her newsletter for updates on her upcoming literary endeavors.