Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where the Magic Lives

For the three of you who I have forced into sublimation (read: bully you into reading my infrequent blogs), I have an announcement. I will be paring down, significantly, on my Internet time, mostly those blogs and forums about the business of writing (and cyber stalking on Twitter). You see, I think I, like many other writers have a tendency to think ahead before we act, and no, not in the way you make think. I think a lot of us, particularly my fellow Pisces, tend to dream and wish without the very necessary 'doing' part of life.

We want, we desire, but we pull ourselves back from reality, from the work of being and doing what we want, in exchange for imagining and in some cases preparing for what will come after the hard work is done.

Take me for instance. Dreamer of dreams and a very lazy person at times. I follow agents and editors on Twitter to 'get to know' the business of writing when I should, instead, worry about the craft of writing. This has been my problem for several months now. I finished my novel last October and walked away, so focused on how I could sell it, how I could garner a modicum of attention, to have a few professional eyes pass across my pages. The problem was/is that there is a significant amount of editing that has to be done to that novel—I'm talking two, three and five drafts later, before I need to concern myself with all the rest.

Writing shouldn't be attempted for the end result. A story doesn't want to be told so its God Creator can be reviewed by PW or nominated for a Hugo. A story wants simply to just be heard and in the hearing, the story wants to be told well. I haven't done that lately. I haven't been true to those untold tales and random quips that bounce and dance in my head. I have suppressed their voices to the vanity of the craft, for the opportunity to move my career forward before I have properly prepared for it.

I think it's a mistake many of us make.

Writing isn't about the writer, not really. It's about the voices we hear (the non-clinically insane ones). It's about those characters that are vying for the writer's attention—those characters, those plots that simply want to be born onto the page. It is about not dreaming, but doing.

So, I'm going back to the beginning. I'm re-teaching what Dr. Gautreaux tried to drill in my head, what Bev tried to instill into my inattentive mind.

I'm going back to the story. I'm going back to the craft. That's where the magic lives.

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