Another note-to-self in the form of a blog …
I’ll cut to the chase: what we do is a choice.
We put ourselves in this situation—“forced” to think about stories and characters and plots and craft.
The burden of it all; the agony!
The tortured artist at work--just look. Over there in the corner, writhing in pain. He's squirming in the corner in sheer horror, drowning in his own drool, recoiling at the thought of having to pound out one more precious sentence.
Did you listen to the recent RMFW podcast with Aaron Michael Ritchey? If you need a lift, check it out. You’ll hear a guy who a) produces at an impressive rate (he’s currently working on a six-book series, under contract) and b) embraces the work.
On the podcast, Ritchey recalls a key moment when he was complaining to fellow writer (and RMFW Colorado Gold Writing Contest chair) Chris Devlin about writing. And Devlin apparently told Ritchey how much she enjoyed it all, getting lost in her worlds and her characters.
That changed everything.
Ritchey decided then and there he didn’t want Devlin’s pity. “I forced myself to love writing,” he recalled.
Ritchey’s enthusiasm is infectious. I’m not saying you can wrap yourself in a cloak of enthusiasm and the books will come flying out, but starting with an upbeat thought or two about the writing day certainly couldn’t hurt.
A few days ago, I listened to Meg Wolitzer deliver a stand-up, no-notes story on “The Moth." (Yes, another podcast.) Wolitzer's storytelling style was so natural, unforced, easy-going (and funny) that I’ve got to dive into her novels. (Like my pile of books isn't tall enough.)
And this particular story, “Summer Camp,” concluded with a message similar to Ritchey’s: “The world is always trying to tell you what you’re not,” concludes Wolitzer. “And it’s up to you to say what you are,”
Funny, isn't it? How some times you run into the same message twice within the same couple of days.
Must be true.