Thursday, March 28, 2013

On Writing Stuff

Hey look! Account recovered. I know that makes everybody so very happy. My 6 or 7 loyal readers were probably wondering where I have been. I mean how can you get by without reading wonderful tales of moobs, toilet issues or lists of things that let the reader know just how much my mind doesn’t function on the normal level of human thought? Normally I would sigh in resignation at not being considered ‘normal thinking.’ But it’s that abnormality of being which has earned me literally tens of dollars, a handful of Pounds and several Euros, off of my first novel RISE OF THE PENGUINS. The book has been in the top seller bracket on Amazon in the U.S., the U.K and Germany (made it to #23 in Deutschland) so I guess that makes me an international bestselling author. (Admittedly I was on the list for about 2 days, but I can put that on my resume and not feel too guilty about my honesty level). In celebration of my success I blew my first royalty check on the dollar menu at Taco Bell. Eleven crunchy tacos please!

All of that aside, I am frequently asked: Why don’t you blog about writing? By frequently, I mean it happened once or twice. The short answer is I feel that the blog world is full of bloggers who have far greater expertise on the subject than me. Kristen Lamb, John Daulton and Michelle Browne all come to mind as people who have excellent blogs on the subject. The long answer is the same as the short but with superfluous wording.

But if push comes to shove and shove comes to throw me on the ground and step on my windpipe and force me to blog and talk about writing or have my trachea smashed, I am full of trite expressions and clichéd advice. The first is Writers write. Well duh! That is what we do. So if you want to become a writer, just freakin write. Write all of the time. Bring a notebook with you wherever you go. (Do I need to say bring a pencil or pen along with your notebook?) Every word you write will make you a better writer. Which leads me to my next poor advice, practice makes perfect. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect is an ideal that is imperfect. I will burst your bubble—nobody has ever been nor will they ever be perfect. To be perfect means you are incapable of making mistakes, everything you do is flawless and you fart rose scented rainbows. What you have to be is good enough. Take the time to learn your craft, read books on the craft, ask others writers what they do, join a writers group. Whatever it takes, just get to the point where you are good enough. You might become really good or even great, though there has probably been only a handful of writers in human history that would qualify as great.

By being good enough I mean, does your story have structure, is it compelling, do you care about the characters? Because if you don’t have that or if something you write bores you, then the reader will pick up on that right away and all of your hard work will end up in the next yard sale or deleted from the Kindle. Also, good enough means don’t edit your book to death. Yeah, hire a quality and experienced editor, but don’t keep rewriting it until it becomes a pamphlet. Remember that you can only sharpen a blade so much before it loses its edge. (I think that was quote from A Nightmare On Elm Street part 36 when Freddy was training his apprentice, the young Frederick Krueger the third, to take up the family business of dream-murder. The rebellious grandson didn’t see the point in murdering the unconscious and comical mayhem ensued). My point is, or was, do the best you can and on your next, take what you learned from the previous work and good enough will be even better. 

Remember—any job worth doing is worth doing well. So go out there and hit the ground running because the ball is your court. And never forget that writing is a labor of love. Oh God, I’ve descended into cliché hell. 

Feel free to send me a message with any questions or comments. <(")