Effortless WritingPosted: September 15, 2010
I write commentary and critique easily. My mental butt groove for writing non-fiction is well worn and comfortable.
Advertisements and sales copy come harder and with less joy, but I can write them without ending up sore from the effort.
But fiction is hard.
I have written precisely one line and it sucks. Truly. It reminds me of the scene from “Secret Window” (yes, I know it was a Stephen King first, but I haven’t read it.) Jack Sparrow is sitting at his laptop looking at a paragraph he has just written. (Yes, I know he isn’t Jack Sparrow in THIS movie, but you know who I mean, that guy from 21 Jump Street. I wish you would stop correcting me and let me tell you this story. Sheesh!)
He is talking to his dog about the quality of the writing he has just, well, written. “You know what we do with bad writing?” he then highlights and deletes the paragraph. “No more bad writing.”
I think about that often when I try to write fiction. No more bad writing. Being ruthless. Thinking through it enough to make it good without over thinking it to death.
I also realized I write better for an audience. I don’t write for myself. I sometimes (often) write to make money, but when I write here–whether it is fiction or non–I write so you will love me. That’s at the bottom of it all. And I believe you will love me if I write something that makes you happy–or a good kind of unhappy.
This is different than my professional writing. Today I need to write a television commercial. It’s for a product you will never buy or even hear about, but it still needs a commercial. Then I have an advertorial to write. About real estate. I feel like Ricky Roma pitching “Racho Something-or-Other.”
But I am beginning to want to want to write fiction. I don’t want to write it yet–I still get too discouraged when I see the quality of the other fiction being written at WordPress–but I want to want to write it. You make me want to be a better man writer.
Enough rambling. My crappy writing awaits. I must now go and delete my opening line and come up with a better one.