Monday, August 16, 2010

Message from a Pseudo-Writer

So, I want to take the time to first thank anyone who has read any of my works, whether it be here on the blog, or on my previous expedition into the foray of emailing my work out to those select few that I used to pester.

I am not sure about everything that it takes to be a writer, and I am not certain that I have it all, whatever it is.

This is a break from my normal post of a story on Thursday (or if i get excited about it, Wednesday) or post a chapter from Hollow World on Saturday and then get giddy about something else I wrote and post it somewhere in between. This is me as a human, as a want-to-be author, thanking you, and making a request.

As I previously stated, I do not know everything it takes to be an author, but I do know of three things that it takes. It's not location location location, or even flavor flavor flavor (from a soon to be coming story).

First and foremost, it takes creativity. Anyone that hears me talk knows that I abound with creativity, whether it be on paper, musically, scale modeling. I love the creative aspect of all of this. The problem I have had for the longest is with the second thing that I know makes a good author. Persistence. The follow through. If you start something, finish it, or endeavor to. My problem (I think) is that I have creative ADD, which is to say I get an idea and run with it until another idea I like comes along, and I change streams, start chasing another butterfly in the field.

Here is where I say another thank you to the wonderful people over at I09 who have given me a creative outlet. I can not say enough how wonderful it is to have a place to chase butterflies (and watch others chase them) and let that creativity flow. It is liberating to be working on a story and have another idea pop up, and be able to say "I will take an hour, or two, and write that, and it can be a short story down the line, and then I can come back to Hollow World." By allowing me to post over in there Thursday and Saturday writers community, I have an obligation, if not to them, but to myself, to follow through.

The third piece that I know makes a great writer is feedback. And I have to say that this is true of any profession, any goal. You can not get better if you keep getting told you are doing good. Now I am not suggesting that all comments should be bashing or of the "You suck" or "That was terrible" variety. But what does not hurt (at least not as much) is the "I did not like it...BECAUSE."

That BECAUSE is a great word, it lets me know more is coming, more that will hopefully be helpful. One of my favorite comments I have seen, both on my own work, and on others work is of the "besides all of the grammatical things we all do." variety of comments. ENLIGHTEN me. If i use the phrase "they had" too much for your liking, or if there are apostrophes where they do not belong (those are ones I get frequently from my wife), let me know. Help me become better, because I want that. I love being creative, and I have a job, but I would love to be creative for my job.

My soapbox just collapsed under the weight of my big head, so I am going to extricate myself from it, and stop talking now. Thanks for reading.


J. A. Platt said...

Persistence, creativity and feedback, (for me in that order) make a writer.

I wanted to add something about the feedback portion. I find myself hesitant to post really specific criticism in comments. The format isn't conducive to long critique (if I was going to point out ten comma splices it would be easier to do it in an email or a word file). But I also find that even when I use the sandwich method (compliment, critique, compliment, always erring on the side of nice) I don't like to critique in the comments. The comments are what everyone reads after the story and I feel like I'm dissipating the warm glow of storytelling by picking over every apostrophe and awkward turn of phrase (as general examples).

I'm not sure what the solution is for that. Maybe finding a critique buddy to trade files with, or asking people to email with more in-depth critiques.

M J said...

OK, I know I'm your wife, so I'm supposed to like your stuff. You'll probably never get hardcore critiques from me. ;) But I'm going to steal a little phrase from Nike and say "Just do it"! You've always wanted to write. Just do it. It makes you happy. Just do it. Even if you never get paid for it. Just do it. I also want to say a brief thanks to IO9 for providing a public forum for people to share works, and a reason to write other than sending it to me. I love you lots!

Post a Comment