Writing Horoscopes

Cancer (June 22 – July 22)
Set aside some time this week to watch people at the park, the café, or the doctor’s office waiting room. Go wherever your current tale is set. Pay attention to the movements, appearances, and conversations that make these people real. “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature,” Cancer Ernest Hemingway reminds us.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Leo, your comedic timing will be spot on this week. Make sure that every pun leaving your fingertips is working in service of its larger meaning this week. As lioness Dorothy Parker said, “Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.”

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Virgo Roald Dahl once said, “A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.” Don’t let that fear stall you this week, Virgo. Instead of opening your Word document and experiencing stage fright, tackle that electric white page like a gardener would as he tilled his spring beds. Seize the opportunity to plant, grow, weed, and nurture your ideas.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)
“I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil,” admitted fellow Libra Truman Capote. He was speaking of revision. Libra, this week the scales have tipped in favor of cutting, adding, and rewording rather than creating new material. Work through your past drafts dramatically on the first pass and judiciously on the second.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant,”
counsels Robert Louis Stevenson. If you haven’t sent out any material in a few months, don’t fret, Scorpio. Sometimes it’s more important to soak up new experiences, sometimes to sow and sometimes to reap. Focus your creative energies now on generating more new material.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

According to Sagittarian Mark Twain, “The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.” My advice to you this week: chat with that twelve year-old down the block. She knows more than you think she does, and won’t hold back. There’s great material in what she has to say, and perhaps you’ll find the answer to your current writing problem.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
This week you will have a knack for picking up on vocal rhythms, dialects, and rural poetics. Take advantage of Mercury in cross-alignment by getting out of your apartment, your neighborhood, your town—step out of the familiar. Follow, pause, and listen, listen, listen. Open yourself to the mystery and let it in. As fellow Capricorn, Edgar Allan Poe said, “I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
Aquarius, you are about to enter a period of writing that demonstrates a lyrical clarity marked by charm and gracefulness. Run with it. Let every quirk stay, mingle, and merge with your current project. You never know what you’ll keep in the next draft, but you know it’ll come from this one. Aquarian James Joyce one remarked, “I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.”

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Pisces, your legacy of flexibility is both a blessing and a curse this week. While you may enjoy a self-styled world, you may feel as if you orbit too far outside of the literary mainstream. Piscean Jack Kerouac advises you to “write in recollection and amazement for yourself.” Take his advice to heart and continue to write for yourself before bending your voice for someone else.

Aries (March 21 – April 20)
Revise, revise, revise, Aries. With Mars in retrograde and Mercury cross-aligned, your creative juices are best suited by picking up that red pen. Find the heart of your project, then, as fellow Aries Samuel Beckett says, “To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.” Do not be afraid to try a different form as you revise—ask yourself if your mess will work best as a narrative or a catalogue, and on and on, until you find the best form.

Taurus (April 21 – May 20)
Taurus Vladimir Nabokov once suggested, “A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” Don’t lose sight of the forest through the trees while you work with your line level to be exact and detailed. Work with your language while allowing your imagination to break through plots with commonplace emotional truths. Turn your mind toward creating the kind of conflict that will have you leaping out of the bathtub shouting, “Eureka!”

Gemini (May 21 – June 21)
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn, ” Harriet Beecher Stowe reminds her fellow Gemini. This writing fatigue will soon pass and you’ll be losing yourself to the beauty and elegance of your sentences once more.

4 Responses to “Writing Horoscopes”

  1. Monet says:

    Just what I needed to hear.

  2. “A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.”

    Getting 50% right is okay (according to many of my students). :-)

  3. Melissa says:

    Cancer Ernest Hemingway is unintentionally hilarious.

  4. Sam Ligon says:

    So many great quotes here. As Leo William Shakespeare reminds us: “Take off your shoes when writing. And your pants.”

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