I am not yet publishing, but there are a few truths about the business of writing that I have learned. One of the big ones is persistence. Actually, stubbornness might be a better word. When I let my friends read the first draft of The Gnostic, the responses were less than stellar. One said something along the lines of, “I don’t see how you’re going to turn this into a novel.” I was bitter for a couple of minutes, but this was the feedback I needed. I completely rewrote the first Gnostic novel over the next two years.
I am now on the final draft, and while it may not be The Old Man in the Sea, I think it qualifies as a novel. Hell, it might even sell.
People will tell you how hard it is to make it. I wonder, though, how many failed authors gave up after one novel? I’ve met a few of those, and they are chock full of advice. I figure it’s a bad idea to take advice from someone who has failed in the arena, though. All too many people give up after the first book doesn’t sell. I expect my first one, The Gnostic, won’t do well at first, if it ever does. Writing it was not a waste, as I have learned a huge amount in the process.
Regardless, I don’t intend to stop. I will either make it as an author, or I will die with a lot of unsuccessful books to my name.
Was my last post really in January? It’s probably not good for a writer these days to not spend at least 34% of the day posting, tweeting, facebooking, myspacing (Is that still around?), etc. I know, I am as surprised as you at my slackerness!
So, to catch up whoever is reading this. I wrapped up the second to last draft of The Gnostic: Initiate, sent it to a copy editor to tell me how terrible a writer I am, and got it back a few weeks ago. I am going to finish it off as soon as I am done with the first draft of Locked and Loaded: Kill Shot. I am about 70% done with that, and it is insane!
And last, I now have a cover artist. Her name is Debra Sarkozy, and she is awesome. I will be working with her on all of my novels.
So that’s my semi-annual update. See you in 6 months. Keep it weird!
There is a darkness that resides in all men. Some just see it more clearly than others.
There is something about sitting alone in a hotel room and writing. There is a very old school feeling to it, like following in the footsteps of Bukowski or Thompson. That’s even more true when you’ve got both a cup of hot black coffee and a can of beer on your desk.
It’s hard to be a starving artist. This is the purist who lives on their more successful friends’ sofas and lights from one bar to the next, spending the last of their meager savings on beer. It’s also hard to be an artist with a job. Then it’s just a hobby, and friends and family regard it as such; art therapy at best. Work wars with relationships that war with responsibilities that war with your art for your time. Before you know it you’re middle-aged, bitter, desperate, hate your job, your wife, your house, your car, and your life because they each stole some of your time. It’s better to be starved for money than to be starved for time.
They say that television will rot your brain. After decades of steeping my mind in broadcast mediocrity I would have to agree. We don’t love television shows, we love repetitive formulas wrapped up in sarcastic dialogue and delivered by professional pretenders. What else can one expect from a drug-fueled and celebrity-addled Hollywood? Flush it all down the toilet with the pills.
Lost soul transients bathing in sodium street light, drunk on self-loathing and rotgut. Pimp slapped whores walk a lonely beat while callous pigs cruise by with unforgiving eyes. Their tusks gleam with arrogant contempt. Everything swims in darkness, black brick walls casting shadows across slate colored concrete. Through this world I pass in wonder, seeing these things through an alcoholic lens. I am home.
I live my life in words; words from my pen, words from my mind, and words from nothing. The flow comes and goes on unpredictable tides. They have a soul of their own. Words are both truth and lies, and they shape reality only to reshape it again and again and again. The word is creation, and makes us all gods on this earth.
I am going over the most recent draft of The Gnostic and doing my second-to-last edit. I am slicing and dicing words away with ruthless efficiency. The point is to convey the story in the clearest terms, not to add to the final word count. If you find you need more word count, add more story, not more words.
I am watching the movie Lunopolis for the third time. It has time travel, people living on the moon, and layers of conspiracy theory. Check out this cult film and I promise you will be entertained!