I ended up writing four pages this morning. In longhand, I write at a good pace, and there are points where there is no separation between my thought and the page, which is wonderful to experience but you cannot depend on it.
I write every day, because it’s enjoyable, I understand that the more I do, the better I feel about it and it helps me improve. I’m quite pragmatic about it, almost treating it as work but that is simply my approach. This morning’s writing was an establishing scene, set up for something that pays off at the point of crisis in this, the second act. Politics does not enter into it, unless it is the politics of story and even with a grid/outline in place, I am constantly looking for points that I can allow the story to breathe, to unwind a little.
There are rough spots, but in this first exploration of the story, it doesn’t matter. I’m not sharing it verbatim because although I make as many mistakes as any other journeyman writer, I don’t feel the need to share them. I know that my table scraps are not precious, what matters is what makes it to the final page and eventually sits on someone’s shelf or e-reader. I enjoy writing, and talking about writing, and reading about it, but it’s part of being a well-rounded person with a tinge of obsession to it.
I made writing my purpose roughly six years ago, the more that I have aligned my life around it, the happier I have become. The fear of missing out diminishes, and although there are miles to go before I am published, the simple happy fact of having written sustains me through it. Don’t agonise over your failures or the successes of others, simply keep working at it. There’s an entire continent of writing advice, people build careers out of dispensing it without ever having finished anything themselves but it all boils down to whatever gets you to the page and keeps you there.
I sometimes concern myself that I sound especially brusque about it all, but it’s simply how I view it. It’s like exercise or diet, you can go deep into the biology and the science but ultimately you have to show up and do it, in some fashion.
A good maxim from Tim Ferris – complicate for profit, simplify for effectiveness. I like to err on the side of simple.
Writing saves lives. It did mine, and no matter what else goes on in my life, the writing remains constant for me. I’m not an expert, I just read a lot and write a lot.
At the moment, I am trying to read Thomas Pynchon’s V. I abandoned it last week but determined, I have picked it up again. The hazy, translucent dream quality of it is something extraordinary, and I have to dip into less challenging fare to keep my brain from screaming. I don’t read books to be seen to be reading them, I read for pleasure but I also like to look at the outliers and the legends, to see how they produce those effects.