Weekend word count: 1382
Total word count: 9711
I’m about 4,000 words behind. I’m okay with this. Spent a chunk of Saturday with google maps, making sure the route the characters take in flight makes sense. I ran into another problem, when I looked at an old outline I’d started. I left out a character in this draft, who really ought to be there. As in, if she’s not, someone’s going to say “Uh, where the hell was she?” So the dilemma becomes, do I go back and re-insert her, or do I introduce her in a different way? Still mulling that one over. I’ll let you know.
So, thing the first: go read Anna’s post about a particularly shitty E-bay commercial. I’m thinking that, in addition to loving our indies for the holidays, we could do a pretty damned good thing by supporting the people who sell their work on Etsy. I know a few of you know (and are!) some crafty people. Toss me some links in the comments and I’ll do a round up post later in the week.
Thing the second:
Going on a message board whingeing about how haaaaard it is to write does not buy you my sympathy.
Let me explain this a bit, after a few deep breaths.
(Before I begin: this is not directed at those of you who do write and have occasional bouts of words not wanting to behave on the page, or who sit down some days and find yourself not getting anything done and post about it. When that happens, do you come back the next day and write some more, or turn to a different project and work on that instead? Do you plow through the part that isn’t working and decide to fix it later, then work on other parts that do flow better for you? Also, when you put up a “writing is hard” post, chances are I’m going to learn something from you about your writing process, or will examine aspects of my own because of it. I’m talking about the people who throw down their pens and walk away from all writing, forever, or who never pick up said pens in the first place. Okay? Okay.)
On a board I frequent, a couple of posters have a habit of tossing up all sorts of “tell me what I should write” topics. They fish around for compliments on their ideas, looking for people to say “Oh my yes, you’re a genius! Please write it so I can read it!”
And then they don’t do anything. They’ll post a few days later wondering about whether they should take a class, or go to a workshop, or do all sorts of things related to writing except actually writing.
Yes, writing is hard. Telling a good story is hard. It’s work. Writers don’t just sit down in their chairs and get up a few hours later with books that are ready for publication. You write a draft. It takes time. It takes effort. When it’s done, you clean it up. Rinse-repeat until it’s ready, then you do the work to send it out and see if anyone wants to buy it.
And yet, there always seems to be a contingent of people who don’t want to actually, you know, write. They shout to the world that they’re thinking about writing, then spend their time lamenting the fact that they haven’t written anything.
My mouth, it is covered in froth.
It’s insulting to the people who spend their time actually writing. Digging at it a bit, I think I even understand why my blood starts to boil:
If I posted about how I was thinking of flying an airplane –but flying is hard and there’s so much to learn and what if I suck at it? But I really wanna do it, only I want to go right to the part where I take off and land smoothly every time. And that maybe I’d take lessons, I dunno, but flying is so haaaard — then a real pilot, who’s logged hundreds of hours in the air, and who paid his or her way through classes in aviation and actually, you know, did all that stuff, is going to laugh at me, then tell me if I want to fly I’d better get off my ass and work at it, otherwise I’m never getting into the cockpit.
Writers write. I wish I could remember which author I fangirl over said that, because it’s so very true. Writers write. Notice I’m not saying “Writers get published” or “Writers make scads of money.”
I’m not published. I’m hoping to be, yes, but it has yet to happen. I’m still a writer. Whether I’m a good one or not isn’t part of my argument right now, except to say this: all writing is practice. If I don’t keep writing, I’ll never get better at it. I’ll never figure out what works and what doesn’t with regards to pacing and plot and character, and how to make my stories better once they’re finished.
I’m not going to walk into a pilot’s lounge and complain about the hard day I had wishing I knew how to fly with the people who actually do know how. Likewise, don’t stand there bitching about how exhausted you are from the long day you had not writing.
Despite what the scam publishers would have you believe, writers support one another. We’re always looking out for new things to read, and will stand up and shout about ’em when we love them. Likewise, when one of our own is having a rough time with a tangly bit of plot, we’re going to listen and help work it out if we can. Hell, see that first paragraph? Welcome to Marty’s Sunday morning gtalk spam from me.
It’s a big gorram clubhouse that we writers hang out in. Have you written something? Are you actively trying to write something by putting real words on paper or screen? Come on in! Apple juice and graham crackers are over on the table, help yourself.
But if you’re only here to whine that you don’t know where to start, and you have no intention of ever doing so, don’t be surprised when I dump my juice box over your head.