How to be a writer

I’ve spent several years trying and I’ve finally figured out how to be a writer.  I’ve learned from the greats, like Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Faulkner.  Certainly Salinger was a student of this school of writing, along with Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, et al.

Take up heavy drinking.

While writing my first novel, I sat slumped over my keyboard one day with my most morose expression on my face.  My nine-year-old came along and asked what was wrong.

“I’m so tired of these two characters!” I wailed.  “I just want them to hurry up and DIE!”

“So kill them,” she answered blithely.  “It’s your book.”

“I can’t,” I cried.  “The sequel will suck if I kill them!”

“Hmmm.  That’s a problem,” she answered, before getting herself a soda and heading back upstairs, leaving me to hang out with these two whiny losers for several more hours.

I read an article in Teen Ink Magazine (fabulous journal, written entirely by teenaged students) about National Novel Writing Month, and decided that would be exactly the break I needed from my two teen-angst-ridden characters.  Since it was already late October, I had plenty of research and thinking to do in order to be ready on the first.

Eighteen days later I held a manuscript that was such a refreshing change that it had practically written itself.  Okay, it’s no Moby Dick, but I finished it and printed out my Winner certificate, leaving a small-but-appreciated donation to the head organization, The Office of Letters and Light.

 Enter the heavy drinking.  I don’t want to go talk to those two whiners again.  And now I have no excuse not to.  The speed-novel is done and submitted, and now I have to buckle down and stop pretending I’m spending a month-long hiatus on something creative.  Ugh.

 Maybe it’s not too late to kill them.  More likely, maybe it’s not too late to make them less whiny.  Only time will tell.

Advertisements

Surely you have something to say about this...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s