Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Work, Damn You

Tell me, are you happy being a writer?

Are you, by chance, in it for the opportunity to tell people you are a writer and thereby appear mysterious and intriguing to them?

Do you imagine great writers are found the same way great actors are found, stopped by some movie director in a coffee shop who forces his or her card into said actor's palm with super-exclusive cell phone numbers scribbled on the back and claims said actor is just what he needs for the movie he's starting and please drop the boring life and be on location by 6 am the next morning?

Is an editor haunting your town with the 2010 version of Manuscript Detector hidden in the back of a utility van, holding oversized earphones to her head, waiting for that 'ping' that will tell her that somewhere in your house is the Cinderella of all writers just waitiing to be discovered, locked up in the attic with only a pen and paper to keep her company and no singing mice in sight, and therefore forced to write amazing stories of literary genius for a little escapism?


I'm telling you now that if you are Cinderella look around.
Those singing mice are somewhere. And the story about you is much more interesting (which is not saying much) than the story you wrote and you should stick with playing princess and leave the writing to the people who...


To those of you whose talents have been discovered by an agent or editor while sipping your Starbucks and typing with one finger, or discovered because Aunt Serina knew someone who knew someone who owed her a favor, the rest of us have a message for you.

Miss on you, Pister.

Remember: Luck without Work is DUMB luck.
Work rewarded with Luck is Karma.

And to my friends who have recently been so rewarded with agent contracts, I dance the Evan Almighty Dance in your honor. Don't watch, it's not pretty.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Turn Up The Meaning

The following is a quote from Kandinsky's book, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, and it was just the ticket for me today. I think my word count is counting too much these days, when I should be paying more attention to meaning.

Don't feel bad--I had to read it twice.

"... In a conversation with an interesting person, we endeavour to get at his fundamental ideas and feelings. We do not bother about the words he uses, nor the spelling of those words, nor the breath necessary for speaking them, nor the movements of his tongue and lips, nor the psychological working on our brain, nor the physical sound in our ear, nor the physiological effect on our nerves. We realize that these things, though interesting and important, are not the main things of the moment, but that the meaning and idea is what concerns us. We should have the same feeling when confronted with a work of art."

So harken back to why you started writing your story, the message you hoped to convey, the emotions for which you went dredging.

Ainsley, changing gears