Writing About Writing
Crossposted on Will Write For Feed Blog: Step One, my new blog.
Fiction is different.
When I wrote for the newspaper or as a freelancer, every word was promised before it was written. Twenty inches of school board meeting? Sure. Two thousand words on the History of Dressage? No problem. I had a buyer before I started typing.
In a fiction career, so I gather, one writes the short story or novel or ground-breaking synthesis of text and etext and then looks around to see who might be interested in giving a home to one’s precious creation. Stephen King could sell a book based on a proposal, probably based on a text message. Us unproven writers need to prove that we can reach the finish line.
Fiction requires faith.
As a journalist, I never questioned what I was doing with a particular article. I might have questioned what I was doing up at 2 am transcribing an interview. That was tactics, not strategy.
Fiction is going to require believing in myself. Belief that I can get to the aforementioned finish line. Belief that I will have something usable once I get there. Belief that my plot makes sense. Belief that my characters will sparkle with life rather than lie on the page as lifeless lumps of text.
The fiction label.
I’m a writer. I know that. At what point can I call myself a fiction writer? When I start? When I finish? When I get published? How about now? I am a fiction writer.
I am a blogger. What better way to announce this than with a blog post? So this is me. Thinking of myself as a writer. A fiction writer.
Your turn. Who is a writer? Who is not? Who gets to decide?
Yes, I started a new blog. Again. This one should be easy to maintain. It will be the repository of writing posts from here. A blog for people who want to read about about writing but don’t want to plow through clouds of horsehair.
So I started a writer’s blog. We’ll see how it goes.
Thank you for reading,
7 thoughts on “Step One, Think Of Myself As A Writer”
I love writing but only when I have something to say to someone else. All non-fiction. Emails. Business letters. Family history to the younger family members (written “oral” history). Articles about a specific subject for publication. I like to edit, to find the right word or phrase or voice in a writing. I edit my own work at least once, even emails, to see if I can eliminate a word or two or three. It is a pleasure to see a “finished” piece. I even have two editors to work with me (both relatives) if it is for a public audience. I like to play with words.
OTOH, I do not enjoy writing a journal, setting down my thoughts, etc. I have done it on occasion, when forced to during a weekend retreat or some programmed gathering. I prefer to noodle the thoughts in my head. For days, months, I will work on a knotty problem and eventually come up with a resolution but that is in my head, not on paper/digital. Why? Maybe privacy. I don’t care to share my thoughts with an unknown future reader? Who knows?
As for fiction, unlike knitting or gardening where I have a design in my head that needs to be brought to life, I don’t find characters or a plot begging to be put on paper. So far. My life is busy and full of interesting people, places and things so the need to create a new world just doesn’t seem to be there. Yet. Maybe someday.
Your father was a professional writer. Maybe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Details may differ but we’ve been a non-fiction writing family so far. You may be the first to write fiction. Godspeed.
My dad was a professional writer/editor. Non-fiction. That’s all I’ve been able to do. Design a quilt or miniature diorama in my head, yes. Create a character and a storyline, nope. Maybe one day….
Family & friends are non-fiction. Cue ominous music.
no one would belive my family is non-fiction. Maybe the Addams Family….
Wiki says the cartoons started in 1938 and the TV show in 1964. The most recent movie is this year. Amazing.
I used to have a couple of paperbacks of the collected cartoons. Wish I knew what happened to them.
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