08/23/2010 • 6:38 PM 0
08/23/2010 • 5:05 PM 0
08/23/2010 • 8:08 AM 0
1. the blank page. And yet, ideas for stories are all around us. Look in newspapers, magazines, real life, fantasy, the net, your dreams and in the back of your sock drawer. Everywhere. Augusten Burroughs says if you experience writer’s block, then write about that. That will prime your pump.
2. that someone, somehow, will steal their ideas. You can’t copyright an idea, and that’s a good thing. Ideas are cheap because (see #1) ideas are everywhere. Execution and completion is what counts. Lots of people have book ideas but never type long enough to even get to the starting line. You’re the best one to take your idea through to fruition. Also, come up with an idea and pitch it to 100 people. One hundred different stories will shoot out from pulling that one trigger. (Note: I won’t steal your ideas. I’ve got plenty of ideas! I’ve got more ideas than I have life left to execute them all! …gulp.)
3. failure. Yeah? Who doesn’t? Failure is in not even trying. Nobody likes a whiner. Shut up and type.
4. success. Just kidding. Nobody really fears success. Change, sometimes, but never success. Fear of success is something somebody made up in 80s to sell self-help books. Who still believes that now?
5. criticism. You won’t join a critique group so you won’t learn (or will learn very slowly.) That’s how I learned very slowly. The truth is, not everybody is going to like you or what you write. That won’t change, so accept that and look for people who give you caring yet constructive criticism. Flush all others. As Walt Disney said, “I’m not gay.” No, no. He said, “Always move forward.”
6. rejection. People very rarely get a book deal from the first agent they approach. (See #5) Not everybody is going to like what you write. If it’s any good, eventually someone will. Then you can crow all you want about all the publishers, editors and agents who said no before you found the one genius who agrees with you. Your definition of a genius is anyone who loves your manuscript and is in a position to market it to the world.
CHAZZ DEFINITION OF GENIUS:
Anyone who agrees with Chazz.
7. revision. But your best writing is your rewriting. You know that. So go do it. Yeah, it really is that simple. That’s the same way everybody else who hates revision bulled their way through.
8. that our best friends will achieve astonishing literary success and we won’t. I guess you should start typing faster if you want to even have a horse in that race then, huh?
9. poverty. So make sure you get paid for what you write. Send out more queries. Suffer the day job until you achieve escape velocity. Keep the day job and enjoy both with a little less sleep. Be so adorable someone else will support you while you write (I am!). Launch a successful business you can escape to write. Make writing your successful business. Reality check: if you choose writing over riches, are you really going to end up in the street? Would the people who care for you really let that happen? (If so, you’re a right and proper bastard, aren’t you? You deserve homelessness. Maybe you should work on your social skills and bathe, hm?) Poverty isn’t so bad. Not writing would be worse. (If you don’t understand that equation, you aren’t a writer.)
10. anonymity. This is the worst. You fear anonymity because if no one reads your words, there goes your only shot at immortality. If you don’t achieve some success with your writing, soon it will be as if you never existed. You might as well have never existed if you can’t leave some kind of stamp of your personality, your brain and your thoughts on the careless, fickle future you’ll never see. The abyss is yawning beneath you. We are only a brief crack of light between two black infinities. If you don’t write, you can’t be published and if you aren’t published, you are forgotten. You are a helpless speck disappearing down the raging current of time. There is no return. Death waits for us all.
ANONYMITY = DEATH
Feel that fear? It’s not just real. It’s good.
You need some fear in your life to keep you motivated.
Back to the keyboard, friends!