I thought once again about how learning history is, yes, about broadly knowing “big events”; but more important is drilling down to contextualize them and seeking better to understand those lives lived before ours.
I do get it. I don’t live in a “la-la land”; and I believe most other people out here actually don’t.
We are truly UNIQUE as an author, really, only with our first published work. After that, while naturally we hope to grow and to improve, we will unavoidably always include aspects of the same again and again.
I was also proofreading yesterday and I thought once more about the fact I am yet again unsure and uncomfortable about some of the things I have written, and I am writing about, in a manuscript. But that is also an aim. We should be unsure and uncomfortable at times in both our writing and in our reading.
I have said here previously that I don’t count words when I write. (I disagree with the idea of measuring “progress” by daily “bean counting.”) I don’t even really look at page numbers. Early on in a manuscript especially, I just write and write and write.
Over a year and a half since I put its first words on a blank screen, Tomorrow is feeling increasing “today”: daily it is more complete. I had laughed to myself while sitting at that La Clusaz table as well that whenever it is finally finished, you may again think as you read some of it – as with parts of Conventions – that I have lost my creative mind.
And I find when I return to the keyboard I may write whatever initially jumps to my mind. I may ask myself, “It has been a few days, so how is ‘Miss Sánchez‘ today? Maybe she’s off to see Mont Saint Michel? And perhaps she has a dog now?”
Simply having a story to tell is not enough.
My advice to any new writer is this: Spend your time 1) writing your books and 2) “connecting” with your readers who have chosen to “connect” with you. (“I wanted you to know I’ve read your book!”)
How about a show of hands. How many of you have ever written a serious love letter? Or – to be all 21st century-ish – how many of you have perhaps written even a love email or other similar electronic message? And by the latter I mean composing complete, carefully crafted, thoughtful sentences: texting emojis doesn’t count!😂
Nothing scares me as an author more than writing two things: sex and violence. And I was writing a bit of both yesterday. So I was a mess…
Who says “romantic” historical novels can’t teach us something?
Fear not, we can at least still fire off an enraged tweet or concoct a cutting Instagram meme: that’ll make the bastard tremble at his keyboard, no doubt.
I admit I resisted sharing a third post in but three days, but in the end I thought ’tis acceptable. I hope to-day sees you well.
Here’s one for the Department of “If You Think No One Is Paying Attention, You’re Wrong.”