So I’m sitting here in the kitchen, post-gym and pre-apple pie (it’s in the ooOOOoooovennnn) and I have been struck with the poifect poipus to write a post. Killing the next 50 minutes or so until the pie is ready to pop out and cool (ever had a mushy mouthful of mind-not-in-the-gutter fresh hot pie?) can be done any number of ways and this is probably the most legal and least hazardous that I can currently come up with.
The months of April and May of this year were a fantastic change of pace for me. Instead of burning away the hours in-studio on multiple projects each day, I was able to reward myself with with multiple extended visits from family and good friends as well as chance myself digging into some of the great goo gobs of stuff that I have sitting on the various metaphorical backburners, shelves and closets that are overflowing with the detritus of creative-itus. My guitars are still mighty dusty and Mass Effect 3 would still be in shrink wrap had Jamie not started playing it but I have made a few strides that I’m proud of.
1. Website revamped and amped. (See, well…this site.) Looong overdue. I had demos that were years old fer Pete’s sake. I updated them with some newer tidbits to show some more recent work but even this was a bit of an afterthought. I should really sit down and dig into them to embrace the fine art that is the voice demo, but what is present will suffice as a demonstration of what I do, art aside.
2. I started writing a novel. More importantly, a series of novels. Now this is a big one for me since I don’t consider myself a writer AND I’m telling you about it, which goes against my elitist creative person snobbery of never revealing intention and process prior to product. We creative types do this to [A] preserve the impact of unleashing an awesomely awe-inspiring, completely out of left field experience to an audience (I didn’t even know you knew how to build a particle accelerator, let alone make it dance) and [B] not feel the shaming chagrin of letting everyone know what a consummate failure your project has become before it has even gotten off the ground (I heard some dude tried to build a homemade particle accelerator, blew himself up and created a world swallowing, time ripping singularity that conveniently ruined the chance of anyone ever watching the season finale of Game of Thrones).
I found that I had a story in me that wanted to come out, so I had to begin writing it. It was just that simple. As with most things that have the opportunity to wander through my brainparts, it took over, became bigger and keeps growing. I can barely write fast enough, with a whopping two whole pages oozing out of me just the other night. Remember that part above where I said I don’t consider myself a writer? Adjectives like “proficient”, “skilled” or “decent” also need to make their way into that sentence or more precisely the distinct lack of these traits.
It all comes down to that Creative Well thingy that I keep talking about. The font from which my inspiration and creative spirit spews forth in great gushing goodness. The media or output method don’t really matter. If I was less self conscious I’m sure a whoooole lot of that expression would be some sort of nude dancing with body paint, a sousaphone and a piercing stare that makes people all sweaty and uncomfortable but I haven’t made it there yet. YET.
Sometimes we just have to dive in to things that excite us or call to us, even though we have no real experience with actually doing them. Now I’ve read my share of books, that’s a given. I have yet to write one. I had a few short stories that probably gave some of the editors of a few sci-fi magazines some hearty chuckles several years ago (at least I hope they got at least a laugh before firing off my form letter rejection notice). Some folks would call that a failure I suppose, trying something and having it literally rejected. Hell in this business rejection is a way of life. I can’t think of any developing actor that I know who has heard “yes” more than “no” unless they go to auditions in dark alleys down by the docks.
I’m writing this story because it chose me to write it. It’s a bit crazy, a bit fun and a bit epic. I never thought I’d write a fantasy novel (or a series of fantasy novels) but whatcha’ gonna’ do? I’m not banking my career on it but I find it rewarding and enjoyable as yet another way to share the juice in the well. It may very well be received as some of the worst writing imaginable. Well my dear friend, I have read parts of both Twilight and Fifty Shades. I just can’t aspire that high. The reception of the book(s) is not the point though. It would be nice to have them loved by all and to win that Pulitzer for Best Fantasy Fuckery or some such but that ain’t the goal. The goal is to release whats been building and to tell a tale that I want to tell. eBook, audiobook. That sounds good.
So go try something that you’ve always wanted to. Make a fool of yourself. Take a gamble. You can’t grow until you challenge the boundaries of what you think you can do, right? When you feel uncomfortable, that’s when you know you’re doing it right. And in the perfect note of finality, the oven just beeped meaning that its high time for pie time (not even kidding). So I’m off to practice my pie-cooling stare.
Hey, maybe any of you that are writers can give me a few tips? The process of writing fiction and crafting the story components and characters and then just putting them together and letting it play it is pretty darn fun. Or, am I doing it totally wrong?
Hey, ya’ know the good part about writing this big ol’ story is that I think I know just the guy to narrate the audiobook version of it. Truth be told, the author probably won’t have any negative poop to say about it either.
3 responses to “Risking The Write Stuff”
Post-pie. Had a pie crumb in my eyelashes. Yep, it was like that.
Here’s what I know about writing:
1. Do it every day. Even if inspiration doesn’t seem to be flowing that day, put your time in all the same.
2. Rewrite extensively.
3. Read extensively, and pay attention to what the writer is doing. Doesn’t even matter what you read, as long as you absorb something from it.
4. Get an editor, and do what they tell you. They may tell you the something sucks and will take a lot of work to fix. Do the work and thank them for it.
5. Most importantly, don’t get bogged down in process. In other words, ignore all this advice and write while the font is flowing. Learning about writing technique can be an excuse to paralyze yourself, especially when you learn that you’re doing everything wrong; you finish the day maybe a little smarter but with no work completed. And having a completed sub-optimal work is many times better than having multiple unfinished ones. Let yourself learn by doing a project wrong, figuring out why, and doing the next one better.
Notice these points apply to ANY creative endeavor. There are a lot of sources out there that can offer better and more specific advice, but, honestly, pursuing that stuff can just lead to analysis paralysis, so I’m not even going to mention it. Just write every day and you’ll get there.
And if you need an editor, or second pair of eyes, send it over this way; I can edit the crap out of some text. Good luck!
Good tips all around, thanks for that. Sometimes I feel this nagging specter chastising me that I’m not a legitimate writer who has spent countless hours honing the craft. You know, the “You can’t do it” voice. The same voice that prevents many from doing much with no consideration what their capability or capacity for capability truly is. With an encouraging nod to all of my writer friends who have spent countless hours honing their craft, I am of the opinion that not only can I do this, but I can do it at a level that I deem satisfying. Not satisfactory in terms of some relative grading system, but satisfying in terms of fulfilling a desire. The daunting challenge, the thrill of a new medium and the simple pleasure of ultimately narrating something that I know rather intimately is most exciting business.
Also I think I just found a poor unlucky soul to play editor later this year when the first draft is done. Fool, I say. Fool!