Thursday, December 3, 2009

I, Write: Another View

TG received the following in response to the Anonymous writer's screed two entries below this one. Because the commenter asks so many intelligent questions I'm posting it as a guest blog. In a day or two, TG will answer some of the questions put forth here and also make a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT. Stay tuned...

Anonymous says:

I write, because it's a creative outlet. So yes - like your inane social gathering ninny I'll say that it's just a hobby for me at this point because I have so many demands on my time that it is difficult to do more than put tiny slices of time into it.

However, I do recognize that it is going to take a lot of hard work to get that first book published, not only on the writing and re-writing but in staying focused on doing that instead of going off on wild tangents like this posting, but I felt compelled to say something about the essay by the writer, Anonymous, below.

My day job - designing and selling disaster recovery solutions for data centers, certainly pays the bills for me. I get to work out of my home, travel a bit here and there, and help people solve technical problems. But...I get restless - the need to create becomes almost obsessive. So I do videography, machinima, (an animation technique) and write. Sometimes my work involves a lot of the creative process, so I am fortunate to get some creative outlet as well as see it contribute to my successes. I enjoy a degree of industry recognition as an expert in my field, but it's NOT what I'm dying to do.

I'd like nothing better than to find a way to be successful at doing creative things that I enjoy - and by successful I mean make enough money at it that I can indulge in it full time and not miss any mortgage payments. None of my hobbies can top what I do for a living currently, on a financial level, so most of my hopes will rest on knocking out a novel or two or three over time and see what happens.

But the earlier posters point bothered me - I'm sure electricians and plumbers aren't sitting around thinking of interesting ways to rewire houses and rework pipes to increase their income. I'm also sure that these tradesfolk aren't going from job to job and mostly getting rejection slips.

Basically, the idea that real writers don't have muses they have mortgages - that it's just a trade - I don't buy it. I realize there is tradecraft involved, but I'd like to know what are those writers doing who put out best sellers? Are they so in debt that they just work at it a bit more and voila! They become millionaires? No, they write well enough, creatively enough, and then what? What other random magic happens that they then trigger the addiction to their stories in a large enough reader base to become celebrities?

So yes, I'm a wannabe, and I've published here and there in my industry, little articles about this and that, but I'm not content with taking that further - but to instead write fiction. I want to make great stories that become highly successful published novels. Anything and everything I can learn to that end would be great, and I'm sure the dumb questions that may make a writer want to shoot me are going to be some of the first things I end up doing.

As a result - I've learned that I basically need to:
1) Get my butt into gear and write.
2) Re-write. Avoid cliches. Grind. Work at it until it's done.
3) Actually get it out to agents for rejection.
4) Maybe, eventually, hopefully, by some tiny little chance, after steps 1-3, it could be possible that a book I someday finish, could get published. Oh and don't expect to make anything nearly worth all the time to put into it.

So - let's assume I'm smart enough to make myself finish a novel, and persistent enough and somehow talented enough to get it published.

Let's say even Thriller Guy thinks its a darn good read. Is it going to be a total crap-shoot to have it become best seller material?”

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