Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Good and Bad

Walter Mosley wrote in his great, little known book about Writing called This Year You Write Your Novel, that the writer is going to have good and bad days, and that the great writer (like some kind of Iron Man racer) manages to have the guts to get through both. Some days are going to be sublime. Some days are going to be crap. Some days are going to be...middling.

Now, honestly, I loathe these types of books. Really the heart of the matter is that you either have the guts to write a book -- and to learn on the way what it takes or what you don't have to give -- or you simply don't. And maybe you can live with that. Or maybe you feel like you can read a little book which will continue your delusion that you're that mystical personality called "a writer." But i have to say, this book has helped me through the dark hours. This book, with just a few simple lines here and there, has articulated the very essence of the struggle to write; and so I like it. I don't think it's for everyone. But it's good, unpretentious, and clean.

The real key is having the patience, the stamina, the heart to write on those days in which you feel like what you're writing is shit, which it very likely is. The number of "great" days is likely hugely less than the number of "crap" days. The thing you've got to remember is that what you're writing is not supposed to go on the bookshelf, in the printed volume, as soon as it leaves your holy/unholy fingertips. I think about this advice all the time. In fact, I think it's saving my life.

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