That’s probably the best writing advice I have ever seen. Pity I didn’t take it.
Do you ever wonder why you write? Aren’t you ever curious about the need that possesses you to sit down and tell lies? But it gets even sillier, doesn’t it? Because, after we have finished writing our lies down, and polishing them until they sort of appear to be true, although they are obviously still blatant untruths, we then ask people if they would like to read them. Oh, and could they please pay us good money for the privilege?
This is insane.
Why would any right minded person think this business model could work?
How on earth does anybody think that they can earn enough money to have a decent standard of living doing this? And, correct me if I am wrong here, but don’t some people think they can actually get rich like this?
When I look at it this way I think Lawrence Block had it right with those aspirins and that darkened room. Maybe I’ll go and do that right now.
Come on, can you tell me? Have you got any sane sounding explanations for why you sit in front of a blank computer screen, or sheet of paper, and endeavour to make things up?
I’m serious here, I want to know. And don’t give me any nonsense about expressing yourself, or exploring your inner muse, or whatever. I want to know why you thought writing fiction would be a wise career choice.
Or, once you had realised that writing fiction was probably the worst career choice you could ever have chosen, even if you live to be a hundred and fifty, why you carried on writing.
Because it’s a mystery to me. I certainly don’t often enjoy the prospect of sitting down to write. And sometimes, when I am churning out those words, I feel like I am grinding out paragraph after paragraph of unmitigated rubbish. There are some days when writing is absolutely the last thing I want to do, and it shows; I make another mug of coffee, I browse through my Twitter feed, I visit Facebook, I check on the cat’s whereabouts, I gaze, stupefied, at the goldfish…
You get the idea.
But then there are the times when having written and published feels good. That time the man in the supermarket recognised me, and told me how much he had enjoyed reading my book. Or the letter I received. Or the technician at work who wanted to tell me he had bought my novel, but he hadn’t read it yet because his wife had read it first, and passed it onto their daughter, who passed in onto her boyfriend.
Maybe my enjoyment of, or my reason for, writing shouldn’t exist in the validation of others. I don’t know, but it certainly feels good when it happens.
So why do I write? I still can’t tell you for certain.
But one thing’s for sure.
I’m not intending stopping anytime soon.