Write vs. Right
I recently started watching Californication. Great new show about a writer who by way of his personality gets laid a lot, yes, but because of his morally bankrupt approach to life looses the things he cares about most. Let me correct that, he just makes bad decisions cause deep down he is a good guy.
I relate to this show being a writer and feel his pain when it comes to writers block. Although unlike him I have never published anything. I have several good ideas that family and friends have prodded me to pursue. They love the concepts and what has been written so far, it’s just not finished. Maybe it is a fear of failure, maybe it is career choice I’m making with my talent for procrastination. Regardless of the reason I love to write, when I am weaving my tapestry of plot and fiction I am lost to the world. I’m like a runner I find my stride and once I get going I can go forever. Writing to me is a solitary job, where working in a bubble is good for the process but maybe not so good for feedback. But who cares, I think too many people worry about what other people think before they even start. Create your opus, your novel, your screenplay, I guarantee there is an audience out there for it.
So my dilemma still haunts me, I have a full time job, how do I make writing a career? How do I give it a full time commitment without neglecting my family, friends and even my mental health. It’s tough and writing this blog shows me that even in a span of a half hour you can bang out 500 words. Stephen King said in the afterword to “Different Seasons” which was a collection of novellas, that, although there’s no real definition, under 20,000 can usually be called a short story, over 40,000 a novel, and in between, a novella. So you could essentially write a novel in 80 days if you were so inclined and had the will power to write a 500 words everyday, I doubt that it would be any good, but the numbers don’t lie.
I look at what I have written and think to myself what is the point of having multiple projects all partially finished? There is no point, it’s like raising 3 children to 6 then booting them out the door to fend for themselves, instead of just raising one properly, and sending them off to college. So I have set aside a half hour at night to put into my new part time job, write for a half hour, if you can go longer, go longer, but promise yourself at least that much time towards your literary craft. Walter “Red” Smith once said “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” Writing is also a baring of the soul, standing intellectually naked before your audience and letting them lick there fingers and flick the pages of your mind, it’s a little nerve-racking. G.K. Chesterson once said “A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” Hey either way you’re getting some kind of truth. Keep your head down and keep writing and eventually you’ll have something to show for it.