Sunday, 24 March 2013

When is Writing Not Really Writing?

Hey all,

So, not too much has happened with writing over the past few days. I was away on a mini-vacation to Victoria, BC, and my laptop decided to commit a new form of ritualized suicide. It’s semi-fixed now, but curbed the writing time I had available. On that note, sort of, I’ve noticed that I’ve come to use this first paragraph, in most of my posts, as more of a ‘this is what Trevor has been up to’ section, and I think I might keep it that way permanently. I like it, and if anything exciting ever does happen to me, it’s a fun place to share it.

Anyways, onto the more writing part of the writing blog. I’ve found myself, over the past few weeks, emailing a lot of people due to my writing. It’s mostly me pestering folk with review blogs to give my books a chance, but now and again a few libraries and whatnot slip into the mix. It’s fine, really, I don’t mind it all that much, but it sure does suck up a lot of my time. I’m not too sure how everyone else out in the world operates, but if I spend 4 or 5 hours sitting at my desk writing letters, fixing those letters, emailing them, and then starting all over again, I’m fried. I can maybe get in about half my normal book writing for the day. It’s not that I don’t want to write more, it’s that I start making stupid mistakes and the story itself tends to suffer a bit. It’s like trying to do work when you’re really sleepy—it’s just never of quality, and you’ll have to go back and fix it later.

There was a video my aunt recently sent me of Neil Gaiman giving a commencement address to the graduating class of The University of the Arts. He says a lot of rather important things, and I suggest you do watch the whole video, it is quite good; but one thing that resonated with me was when he mentioned that at one point in his career, he found that he’d become a professional email writer, and a hobby writer. Here’s the link, for your personal viewing pleasure:

It might just be that right now I am spending a lot of time emailing, and posting on forums, and checking out blogs, and all sorts of things that aren’t writing, but it really caught my attention. More or less, I was affirmed in my suspicion that I should be trying to strike a reasonable balance between PR and writing more books. It’s easy to lean too far in one direction and either never write, or never sell yourself. One method leads towards never selling, and the other to having nothing to sell, but both have the same destination, which is not really succeeding. That’s not to say that there is no merit in writing without sales, because there is, but if you want to make a living off your writing, then there needs to be some form of exchange of money, or goods, or goats, for books.

I apologize for the slightly, rambly, tone of this particular post, I’ve been all over the place today, and on a very long ferry ride—my mind is somewhat akin to a big ol’ pile of moosh right now. For my next post, on the opposite side of the spectrum, I think I very well might have some technical stylistic comments on bringing about tension and excitement for the more action-y sections of a book. I’ve been delving into a rather large sequence in Dreamstate II, and have been playing with a few different tactics. All good fun that you’ll get to hear all about later.


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