There are times I hate being a writer. One of the things it does is set me at odds with normal (or really, abnormal but not writers) human beings, and prevents the enjoyment of simple pleasures that involve story telling.
I used to think I was alone in this, but the last few Liberty cons have quite put paid to that idea, as I hear colleague after colleague say things like “I used to enjoy reading, but now I find myself analyzing it” or “I loved movies but now I can see the mechanics and the effects.
Note this is not a marital advice column.
You’ve heard the saying that you should kill your darlings. Honestly, it depends on who your darlings are and what. I don’t subscribe to absolutes in terms of writing advice. However I know there is a type of love that will harm your writing, something that falls under “killing your darlings.”
Independent publishing — indie — is generally a great thing. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a writer to part with their publisher/s there’s no need to let the world know the just causes, you can just leave and start writing indie.
Or you can start out indie, anyway, and not have to suffer the slings and arrows of incompetent office staff and indifferent sales staff. Read more
Tomorrow morning we leave for Liberty Con at dark O’six, and I’m going through my usual oscillation: happy to go and see my friends, looking forward to meeting my fans again, dreading the travel and terrified of having to be with that many people for days — DAYS I tell you! — and away from my familiar office and books and routine. Read more
When I was a young writer, I wrote a rape scene. It was full of pathos and horror. It made me cringe and cry. I thought I might be too graphic.
Then my reader — yes, that’s right, at the time I only had one — aka my husband read it. “Why is she so upset because the guy came into her room?”
Yep, that’s right. All that actually made it on the page was that this guy came in, and then she was re-arranging her clothes and crying. The rest was still in my head, and I was putting it into the scene without noticing it was not actually written. Read more
I often say I learned the business of writing uphill both ways in a snow storm.
There are advantages of doing everything at least twice. You learn it really well, which makes you a great teacher later on. The disadvantages are rather more obvious though, and they’ll come to you when you try to pay for your kids’ college or major medical care or something.
One of my favorite daydreams is of going back in time and telling young
idiot me what she needed to know to succeed higher, faster and better. Alas I can’t. But I can tell you.
Heinlein had Lazarus Long say something about not ruining your children by making their life too easy.
This too applies to young writers. And a young writer is anyone who has been bashing his or her head against the deceptively clear pane of the craft for less than five years (or more, depending on rate of production.)
Me, I’m not of the opinion that if you can be discouraged, you should be. Writing talent doesn’t necessarily come with determination. And determination doesn’t make you a good writer, not by itself.