Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Don't write today

Don’t write today. It doesn’t matter. The world will keep turning on its axis. No one will be worse off because you didn’t scribble down some words today. No one needs what you’re working on, especially if it’s fiction.
Admit it. This is for you. Writing fiction is an egotistical act. You write for you. To try to satisfy some emotional need in yourself. You want this or else you wouldn’t be doing it. “This” meaning acknowledgement from family or friends that you’re a worthwhile human being after all, or kudos from peers, or to produce something approaching artistic merit. You can claim, “But I want to give something to the world!” Really? We’re in desperate need of another small-town amateur sleuth or big city meet-cute or zombie-riddled alien planet? At least try to elevate your story above genre. Put heart into it. Please.
I don’t encourage beginning writers. Because if they let a discouraging word from some asshole (me) stop them from even one writing session, they may as well give up right now. Writing is long-haul stuff. Like marriage. You stick it out through good days and bad. You write when you “don’t feel like it.” If you don’t, you really don’t want it bad enough.

So—don’t write for me, or your parents, or your kids, or anyone else. Do this for you.

You are, anyway.

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