This week's blog is short and sweet. I'm tired and have been wrangling with the decision of rather to cut 50,000 words from my debut novel or break it up into two book. You can read the dramatic-gasp!-details in my post The Path to Getting Published Part 4: Query Letter and Debut Novel Length.
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
What has kept me going in this is my love of writing. Not just the initial idea to epaper, but the revising, beta readers, figuring out how to say more with less, all of it.
Bottom line: making shit up is fun.
What I've also discovered is that it's easy to get focused on the end goal, that of getting published. What can I do to make it so an agent and following that a publisher and following that readers will love my writing? Yes, in the end it's about the reader, but during the process it's about the writer.
Depending on the speed of the reader and the length of the book, a novel can be dishearteningly consumed in less than a day. I'm a little slower and will take a couple weeks, sometimes longer, part of it is I want to give the writer their full due, they worked hard so I'll put some effort too. But no matter how long the reader takes the writer is in the thick of the story for years. In that time it's easy to let inhibitions, both externally and the crap going through your head, prevent you from really stretching your creative legs and doing everything you want to do.
Nothing kills the creative process like inhibitions.
In last week's Jay and Silent Bob podcast, Kevin Smith, and Jason Mewes were screening their new cartoon movie. For those that don't know, Kevin Smith is an indie film maker, whose credits include Clerks 1 & 2, Mallrats, and more, he started Smodcast Internet Radio, on and on. Jason Mewes is an actor, recovering drug addict, and most recently a director. Google them if you want to know more, this isn't a memoir.
During the Q&A portion of the podcast, a film student asked for advice on making it in the movie business. What followed was the most touching and inspiring monologue about creativity I've ever heard. Kevin's take on it is from the movie-making perspective, but it's applicable to writing or any creative endeavor. I've listened to it a dozen times and each time I've come away feeling re-energized and ready to lay it all out there.
I clipped out that 20 minute section of the podcast. You can listen to it online or download it to your MP3 player. NOTE: In this venue there is a lot of swearing, so if that sort of thing turns you off you may want to skip it. But for the rest of us, prepare to have your inhibitions blown away.
Of course I'm going to try and get published, we writers are an introverted but egotistical bunch. However, I'm going to remember to focus on the process I love and not so much on the end goal. As Kevin says, do what you love, and the money will follow. And if it doesn't, who cares? At least you got to do what you love.
Download here or listen on line