I have no business writing. None. I do it anyway.
For the last four years, I’ve been plugging away at a novel. I’m going to tell you right now, the novel is not the length of Anna Karenina. And, it’s definitely not the next War and Peace. It’s a contemporary fantasy/horror about a guy (well, a diagnosed schizophrenic) who realizes his delusions are real. I think it’ll be out this winter. *crosses fingers*
So, what’s with the FOUR YEARS you ask? (Or, you don’t, because this blog currently has zero followers.)
For the first year–give or take a month–I worked on perfecting the opening three paragraphs. Oh my God, they were gorgeous. I think. To tell you the truth I have no idea what they were about anymore, other than having something to do with the wind blowing through yellowed lace curtains. They’re gone forever. For the next couple years, I puttered around with the first three chapters. Actually, they won’t be making it into the book either.
Despite all of these failed keystrokes, I kept writing. And, in a couple months my book will be ready to get ripped into shreds by my editor.
*waves hands to quiet overwhelming applause*
Thank you, thank you. You’re too kind.
So, why should you follow this blog, hmmm? Because, I have made every mistake you can think of. I’ve done everything THE WRONG WAY. And, I’m going to start from the very beginning and tell you what I’ve learned, so it doesn’t take you four years to get to where I am. (Not to mention getting the damn thing published.)
This is my first blog post, so I’m going to mark the occasion by telling you the FIRST thing you need to do if you want to write. Buy the book, If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. No joke. It’s the reason I’ve come so close to typing ‘The End.’ Okay, it was first published in 1938. Some of her advice is . . . astronomically outdated. Keep an open mind.
The reason this book is so important, the reason it’s still in print, and the reason I’m recommending it now is this: she’ll tell you what you need to hear. She’ll give you the courage to open your computer (or grab a pen and paper) and W-R-I-T-E. Because, “Everyone is talented, original and has something important to say.” That’s a quote from her book. And, it’s true. You need to know that. You have a unique perspective of the world we live in. You can relay it to the masses in a voice that is all your own. If you feel the need to write, she’ll tell you . . . you can.
I’ve written a LOT of garbage. So will you. And, you know what? That’s okay. I enjoy writing because generally, I’m the kind of person who says the wrong thing. (Yeah, I pretty much always say the wrong thing.) But, if you become a writer you have an opportunity to write what you think you want to say, and then fix it completely.
*rolls up sleeves*
So, get ready to play in the mud.
Read Brenda’s book.
Meet me back here same time next week, and we’ll write some complete and utter garbage, and then try to fix it.