I believe in a number of things when it comes to writing.
1) Writing is easy.
2) Writing is best done alone, and with friends.
3) Thinking about writing creates writing.
4) Anyone can be published.
With those basic principles in mind, I thought I’d start a blog. With my new life event of hating my new job and being unable to get a new one without committing resume suicide, I started some soul searching and came up with a glorious plan. After 13 years of novel writing and a life-time of whatever writing, maybe I would actually do something with my writing. It seemed both easy, and impossible. I had always thrown away the idea of being an “author” and making a career out of writing. I knew what a steep hill that would be and, honestly, I didn’t really want to do the work. I have such a fun, light feeling about my writing and I didn’t want to ruin it by getting all serious. But, with a move to depressing suburbia land and working 8-5 at a hopeless, depressing State run organization hell bent on making my head explode every day, I needed a serious outlet.
So, my spring has sprung. I’m finally going to take that step, just to see what pans out. I’m going to jump head first into the pool and get myself published. Depending on how that whole experience goes, we’ll see if I can make it my day job.
Now, back to the list.
1) Writing is easy – to anyone out there who disagrees, needs to understand I’m not talking about quality. Good writing is trickier but here’s the amazing and wonderful thing about good. It’s subjective. And as much as we try to pretend there are certain levels of good, certain norms we have to follow, it’s really all just mush. I’ve written some things I think are wonderful, but others think are crap. I’ve written some stuff I think is crap, that others apparently like. We’ve all read published books out there that blow out sock off and others that make us wonder what’s wrong with the world. The point is that there are people out there who love The Great Gatsby and people who love 50 Shades of Gray. What’s my point? Make it grammatically correct and we all have a shot at the big time.
2) Writing is best done alone, and with friends – I’ve written both alone and with friends. They are both awesome. You should try them all.
3) Thinking about writing creates writing – For many years I have written only during the month of November. I’d sit down for NaNoWriMo, punch out a novel, maybe edit a bit here and there throughout the year, and I’d be done. Not a single other aspect of writing creativity (unless you count journaling and writing letters, which I don’t). In contrast, I’ve been on this publishing idea for about a week and a half now. I’ve been reading non-stop for months, I checked out all these books from the library about writing, I went to Lit Fest in Chicago last weekend, and I’m headed to a writing workshop tomorrow. Today, I went for a bike ride and came back with a poem. A poem. Do you know how long it’s been since I wrote a poem? It only came out of me because I had been making it a practice to think about writing. It was a wonderful surprise.
4) Anyone can be published – This make a wonderful loop with point number one. Obviously, there is self publishing, but aside from there in the world of “real” publishing, it’s all about editing and persistence. I know there are people about there who will publish my novels, I just need to find them. I’ve read a lot of wonderful books in my day and I’ve read a lot of crap books in my day. I think, right now, I’m somewhere in between. I’d love to be more toward the good end, and I’ll try my best, but for now I’m just going to run with it and see what comes out.
And that’s why this is my road less traveled. Thirteen years of writing and I finally am going to try moving to the next step.