Please note that this series is written in fun. If you don’t like hints of sarcasm and hyperbole don’t read this series. If you find the title offensive, don’t read this series. However, if you understand that this is a great time to be a writer of fiction and feel like a lone happy person in a tsunami of fear, read on.
I recently spoke to an agent interested in a general fiction book I’d written who wanted me to spend five years revising it. Not five weeks or five months, but five YEARS. I thought she was insane. She thought I wasn’t committed to excellence and told me of another client of hers who spent that amount of time on one book and became an Oprah magazine book pick.
I like Oprah, but there’s no way I’m going to spend my creative energy trying to rewrite something just to please the sensibilities of someone else. The problem with the agent’s suggestion was that she was completely clueless as to how stories are created. Many writers fall into this trap. I’ve met numerous writers who will spend months polishing three chapters to enter into a contest or others who’ve spent ten to twenty years on one ‘masterpiece’ because writing is supposed to be painful,
“Don’t ever write a novel unless it hurts like a hot turd coming out.” Charles Bukowski
“Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” Red Smith
“I’d never encourage anyone to be a writer. It’s too hard.” Eudora Welty
(Cue in ominous music and the voice of Vincent Price) Discouragement, pain, heartbreak, obscurity, that’s the writer’s lot so be FOREWARNED. Most of this is baloney because the one thing many people forget is that great writers know how to lie (they’re storytellers remember?) And it serves a purpose because writers need to feel important, which leads me to: