“Who are you anyway? Why do you matter? To me, you don’t matter. I don’t care about you. I exist whether you read me or not. In fact: you can quit reading this book right now, I dare you. I dare you to put this book down and forget about it. I don’t need you. I am the answer to the riddle: if a writer writes a book and no one reads it does it still make a sound? Yes. Yes, I do make a sound.
Do you hear it?” – Christopher Higgs aka Marvin K. Mooney
How can you not continue a book that opens like this?
Hello, old friends. A lot has happened since my last post. I am currently attending graduate school for my M.S. in Book Publishing. Truly a dream come true. What with all this change, my writing habits have suffered immensely (although I did manage to write and co-produce a musical this summer). Now that life has begun to get back on track, I am looking forward to getting back into the creative flow, and to more regular updates.
Comment and let me know how this past year has treated you! Written any amazing things recently?
I have removed my wristwatch. I dislike it when I type and it clatters against the edge of my laptop keyboard. When I take it off, it usually means I’m about to pump out a good five pages of text. It is always a good sign.
Don’t worry about beginning at the beginning. Start where you want to, the part that intrigues you, and then once you’ve immersed yourself in the world, you can go back and fill in the gaps.
I was just identified as the girl who once wrote a musical. My temptation to dampen the pride I felt was assuaged by the knowledge that my writing partner and I had just written out the rough draft of an entirely new two-act the night before. So this is what it feels like …
There is something so pretentious and uncomfortable about beginning a book, like breaking a long pause in conversation to tell an elaborate anecdote about yourself. You hope it’s interesting and relevant and that the listener can relate, but you both know it’s mostly because you like the sound of your own voice.
Go out for a coffee on a rainy day. Sit in your car and drink it all by yourself. Turn off the radio, and listen to the hum of the engine and the patter of water on the hood, running down the windshield. Tell yourself a story in a low, sentimental voice between thoughtful sips of hot, sweet caffeine. Feel the inspiration come.
Writing is not like dancing or modeling. With those art forms, your peak is twenty and it’s all downhill from there. With writing, time and age does nothing but enhance and build one’s skill and understanding. So stop stressing out, trying to write the perfect story right now, and realize that it might not come until you are sixty. But when it does, it will be amazing, formed out of all you’ve done before.
Sometimes stories are like naughty children. No matter how many times you put them to bed and shut the light, they pop back up and run out of their little room again, crying ‘Pay attention to me! Write about me next!’
I suppose the only way to get rid of these annoying brainchildren is to simply write their stories. It will give you something to do in the meanwhile, and who knows, maybe something great will come of it?
A word of warning: As writers, we are creators, gods . . . but only in our rooms, at our desks, on the pages we write. In the real world, we are just another human being trying to sell a commodity we believe other people need, and writers-in-training would do well to remember this when dealing with publishers. No indignant rants, please, no streams of complaints, perfectionist critiques, or snobbish appearances. They do not want your book badly enough to bow to your godliness.