Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bitchin about writing

My twin brother and I have something have a couple things in common. I suppose this is true of most twins. Sadly one of the first things that we share is our ugliness. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, he's a shade uglier, I get the rest of the days of the week. I got the short side of the genetic stick. The other thing we have in common is that we both write. We write for different people, but we are both engaged in the act of writing.

James writes primarily to get published. He has been writing for the last three plus years, attempting to get his short essays and articles into various magazines (usually climbing related rags). He constantly has to go through editing and reediting processes. Not only is his written work never complete but he must constantly push his work. His pieces constantly get rejected from magazines. He thinks its a good sign when they write him a rejection letter back. Ouch.

My writing is for a different sphere. I do book reviews for AJODA and do short stories for myself. This writing is externally unrewarding. People will only comment on it when they hate it. Usually it passes beneath people's radar entirely. The good thing about this sphere is that getting published is much easier, although there is still an intensive editing process (usually with my cold hearted bitch editor). The bad thing is that you have to try to be critical, or at least pass yourself as being critical. I usually wax things over with a good schlacking of humour to show that I'm "critical."

Writing is hard work. To be a good writer you have to be diligent (I don't consider myself that good of a writer). You need to be sitting down and writing every day. Every day revising. Every day trying to hone your techniques. In many ways its similar to doing something like boxing, but instead of physical work, its mental, which doesn't make it any easier, or harder than boxing.

1 comment:

Honour said...

Great analogy between boxing and writing.
It's hard work.
The only way you get better is by actually just doing it.
And, you are sometimes the only one that sees the result.

Last year, I decided to place a morotorium on going to writing classes, seminars, reading about writing, attending readings etc. - I figured those were hours that I could actually sit in my chair and write.

Did I see a result by missing out on those things?
Hell, yes!