Writing is…

18 Feb

Writing is…

…a bit like an avalanche. Sometimes, the ground shakes and you look behind you, and the whole list of short stories which I have to-be-written suddenly came tumbling down the mountain toward me. In the middle of one long one which is secure (and therefore, can be paused), I went off to write the Feral Children story when it came to life. A bit into that, a terror-thriller story that I hadn’t been thinking about came to life. So I need to finish one, write the other, un-pause the third, and I think another one’s coming to life. An avalanche.

… a journey you don’t fully understand until you look back on it in hindsight. And even looking back, the journey you’ve just had has been so personal that if someone asked you about it, for writing advice, you (well, me,) wouldn’t be able to explain it. It’s too embedded to articulate to spoken language well.

…a life-saver, in that when I don’t write, I get tired, and cranky, and don’t feel useful. When I do write, I’m pretty impervious to anything that might irritate me, I’m an amiable sort of happy guy, and I like being that way.

…is the best fuckin’ thing since DNA started to synthesize.

Interesting things happen when I’m not on the internet much. And I’m pretty limited these days. I’m writing a lot more, sure. And the writing is part of the reason the other stuff happens too.

The other stuff includes me keeping the house nice and tidy. It doesn’t get out of shape or messy, at least not more than I can clean up in an hour or so.

Also, sometimes when I’m struggling (and failing) to write and online too much, my reading gets into a rut. I just read two or three books endlessly. I’m happily reading through all manner of books right now.

I’m about halfway through Joe Hill’s “Horns” right now. I read 170 pages of it last night. Stunning book. I’ll say more about it when I finish it, either here or over at SF Signal as a review.

I’ve had a serial in the process of being formed, but I couldn’t think of a title for the series. I kept going around and around on it. Today, a title popped up. Vagabonds. Not the most startlingly original thing ever, but it’s the content that counts (he says hopefully).

Also, an extremely different type of serial reminded me of its existence again, and I was thinking I could do that. It’s not hard. And it’s fast.


My friend Lucien, he made a very good point in a long e-mail he sent me. About me, and my work, and finishing things. Nothing negative, but I was definitely made aware that 1) God in the Machine is unfinished 2) Rocket Johnny appeared as a blip and died unfinished, and unsatisfactory 3) this happens a lot.

I’m bothered by it. I’ve been thinking about it all day. I’m increasingly feeling like I need to finish God in the Machine before moving on to any other serial. I feel a bit guilty, and a bit irresponsible otherwise.

So I’m a-thinkin’. And a-writin’. And a-readin’.

Writing is…

…hard as hell, exhausting, impossible and useless and less fun than reading a book or watching youtube some days but then you grit your teeth and sit down and say “I don’t care if it’s shit, just churn out 500 words of shit,” and then you start writing and 50 words in, well, maybe it’s not so bad. And it’s fun. And even if you have to force the 500 words or more, you come out of it feeling accomplished.

To carry a metaphor (probably past its expiration date), if you’re sometimes in the ring with authors you admire, then other days you’re alone in a dark gym with arms achingly painful. You don’t even a little bit want to punch the bag two hundred times. But you need to. So you do it ten times, and then convince yourself to do another ten, and so forth.

And I think that’s enough boxing metaphors. I don’t want to turn into Ernest Hemingway, or some sort of literary Rocky Balboa. That’d be weird.

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Posted by on February 18, 2010 in Uncategorized


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