Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pain and the Writer

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
Red Smith

In the most recent episode of Mad Men (the only TV show I watch), “Signal 30”, Roger Sterling calls Ken Cosgrove into his office and tells him that he can’t write anymore because it divides his attention from work.

Immediately, I felt a stab in my heart.  I understand in the ‘60’s this was probably par for the course for managers to tell people how to spend their off hours (the early version of “work-life balance”?), but to tell a writer to stop writing?  Might as well tell a pious person to stop praying.

Yet in the last scene, we see Ken working on his next story.  Stick it to ‘em, Ken!

This partially segues into what I’m going to talk about next.

A writer writes because that is what they do.  Yet, in some cases, it’s painful.

I found out when talking to someone yesterday that one of the reasons I create worry and anxiety for myself is because I’m looking for story ideas.  There is always the “what if”.  What if I do this wrong?  Ever see the commercials for Direct TV, where it starts off that you can’t find anything on the TV and the guy ends up homeless?  This is my worry spiral.

Yet, in there, is a story.

It’s often a good story.  I can know the feelings, the emotions, of someone who is on the edge of a cliff and can describe it.  I can sense the near-end of something, and how that feels.  I can wallow in it.  Sit on it, ruminate over it, and see the story in there.

Of course this isn’t good for my psyche!

It hurts sometimes when I don’t write.  There’s a story there, just at the edge of the mists, and I can see it, but it’s jumbled.  I can’t write down summaries of stories; I need to have a story in relatively full cloth, or at least know where I’m going with it.  One-sentence ideas are not stories – they’re teasers.

I wonder how many writers cause themselves pain and torture when they even live throughout the day?

No wonder Hemmingway and so many other great writers drank.

I can do better than that!

I have just finished listening to a book, and if it wasn’t on Audible I would have thrown it across the room.  It was horrible!  When I finished, I knew that I could write better than this guy.  And I actually have written a better novel than this one, set in the same time period with the same idea…but I know I did it a lot better.

Many times, that is my inspiration: the knowledge that I could do better than the published author.  It really is more luck than skill these days.  I could write a perfect 25 pages, stupendous cover letter, believable characters and story and everything grammatically correct – except it hits the wrong editor, time after time after time.

I’ve sent Grim out to four agents thus far, and gotten rejections.  I’m assuming I’m hitting the wrong agent.

I am tempted to pull Grim off Kindle, change it to a more adult-oriented story (not gay EroRom) and sell it to that group instead of making it a YA coming-of-age story.  It does need a good reader, and I do need someone to read it through once and get feedback.

I believe I will take the piece I started writing on Literotica and create an EroRom book for it.  The muse has given me many ideas for Tamerlane and Roger, how they work together to solve oddball crimes.  However not every scene has hot and heavy sex in it.

In the meantime, I am working on the first draft of Grim 3, the last in the trilogy, though debating on whether or not to have a happy ending.  I am also still revising Book 2; my date to have it out is September 9, 2012.