Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I've changed the title of the blog to reflect who I am, and my love of writing. I think it's time to stand up and be counted on the side of the prolific writers. I've seen far too many people judging the work of others by a time factor, rather than by anything they've actually written. I think this is the most egotistical bigotry that a writer can foist off on another.
I am both a fast writer and a prolific one. I've written well over 80 novels and hundreds of short stories. Are they all good? Of course not. They represent about thirty years of writing, much of which was done without a clue.
However, I don't regret having written a single one of those manuscripts. They are the children of my imagination, and I love each of them for what they are. Some, over the years, have even grown and matured with rewrites and retelling. I learned one fact about writing: No story is ruined just because I happen to have told it before my skills were up to the tale. They are, if nothing else, placeholders and very detailed outlines for the next time I try.
I write the stories I want to tell, and I've never regretted telling any of them.
There has been a marked increase in the quality of my work over the last few years, and the improvement continues. It does this because I keep writing, fixing, rewriting, and learning -- and because I am serious about writing.
I learn best by doing -- and by not being afraid to 'waste my time' writing something that might not quite work the way I first imagined. I take chances, in my own way. I'm not afraid of the blank page, or of the written one.
Being a prolific writer is neither a requirement nor a road block to publication. How fast you can get the initial story from your head to a written format has nothing to do with how well you write it, and completely ignores the idea of editing and rewrites.
Some writers put that determination for 'getting it right' into the first draft -- but that doesn't work for every writer. In fact, I've known far more writers of this type who never finish their stories because that press for perfection overcomes the joy of the storytelling, and they get bored or frustrated with the story. On the other side, I know writers who rush out story after story and never take the time to learn from their previous work, or to rewrite and edit any of it. So there can be bad sides to both.
However, if you happen to write quickly and you happen to be prolific (the first is not always a guarantee of the second), don't let anyone tell you that you are writing crap based only on how fast you work. But don't let being a fast writer blind you to the need to make the story right, either.
I'm going to be talking more about writing in this blog again. There will still be pictures, of course, and there will be bits about my home life as well. However, I intend to focus back on the one thing in my life that directs much else that I do.
If you think writing 3k a day, or writing more than a novel a year is a horrible, travesty of great literature, this is just not the blog for you. I don't get angsty over writing, though I do occasionally get frustrated by it.
Most of the time, however, you are going to read about how much fun it is to write for the sheer joy of it.