Someone on Twitter recently remarked, “You have blogged in awhile, which is lame.”
Well, far be it from me to allow lameness to gain a foothold in the universe, but I’ve been busy. Doin’ stuff and junk. It’s a hectic life, the adventures of a world-renowned novelologist, and really, sometimes I forget how wonderful it is to hear from me, how I enrich the lives of the little people, and how, just by being me, I spread sunshine and rainbows like leprechauns spread marshmallow cereal.
All kidding aside, I missed ya, gang.
I went to Armadillocon last weekend, and it was a great time. I plan on writing up the event in more detail, but for now, I’ll just say it was swell and an honor and a pleasure to be invited.
Okay, so the simple question I got recently was this: Do I ever focus on more than one book at a time? Or do I just focus on one and get it done?
When I first started writing seriously, it was usually a focus thing, working on just one thing, getting it done. I might start a project and not finish it, but for the most part, it was straightforward. Especially when first writing, I didn’t go in with any expectations other than to prove I could write a book. So I focused less on writing a perfect book as just writing something. It’s a common mistake for new aspiring writers to feel as if their first book must be good.
I’ll admit that never made much sense to me. It’d be like picking up a baseball and expecting to be able to throw a no-hitter your first time on the mound. You don’t get better without practice. And even if you have all the natural talent in the world, you’re always better with training.
It’s also easier to focus on your first few efforts because everything is new and wonderful. Every word, even the uninteresting, clumsy ones, are special. Every page is a triumph of effort, even if not of talent. It’s an adventure.
At this stage though, I’ll admit I don’t focus like I used to. I think it’s because, the more you write, the harder it is to write something original. Maybe that doesn’t matter to everyone, but I try to do different things, try not to just recycle the same stories. Whether or not I succeed is a matter of debate, but I’d like to think that I’ve managed to create a variety of stories and characters, that I’m not just treading artistic water.
So I can skip around a bit more when I begin a new book, usually until I get along to a certain point and then there’s really no turning back. It’s just not practical. Evenutally, you have to commit. And that’s the difference between being an amateur or a professional. It’s not the paycheck. (Okay, the paycheck is nice.) It’s the commitment to getting the thing done.
I’d like to break it down more than that, but it’s late. I’m tired. I’m not sure I understand it enough to explain beyond that anyway. So there you go. A small blog entry to keep you warm at night. Don’t say I’ve never done anything for you.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,