Taking Your Writerly Self Seriously

Writing is a funny thing, in’it? Remember writing that first draft of your first-ever book, when you thought, “Man, they are gonna eat this up”?

You’re a writer, you know how it is. When you first start writing, you think, hey, this isn’t so hard! Words tumble out by the thousands, and the pages fill up quickly.

I have to tell you, when I started writing my first novel, I was like a chimpanzee at the keyboard. Every word I typed out was perfect. I know a lot of words, and I linked ’em up into some pretty cool sentences – it was like candy crunchcrunchcrunch…

And I had some pretty good ideas back there. Alls I had ta doo was write ’em down and I’d have myself a novel.

Now, as I’m chopping through the All Sizzle and No Steak rewrite, I think about that early process that turned out one difficult and two not-so-bad novels.

As it’s written, the current story bams is way from beginning to end like a pot-boiling page-turner, a merry chase rattled out by characters we scarcely know and for whom we care even less.

At this very moment, I’m beached here outside of Bloomingdale’s, waiting for the rightly-priced cashmere to appear before the eyes of my much better half and the youngest of the brood.

An ocean of shoppers swirls past, such that I feel like a rock defying the battering waves of the deep blue sea. All these people, busy in their own lives, driting past like shadows, or maybe ghosts. They have no stories and no meaning beyond these moments in the mall. I don’t know them. I don’t particularly care about them.

Hey, wait a second.

I don’t care about them because I don’t know them. That precisely echoes what my wife said about the characters in my All Sizzle lackluster plot novel!

Hey, wait a minute! You mean now I have to take my characters seriously? They’re not just vessels that complete the action?

Well, that’s kind of cheesy.

I mean, now I have to go back and think about my characters and their back stories and pay attention to them. I guess I have to take them seriously.

It’s pretty easy to tumble out words. And it’s easy to get stuck thinking that that’s all there is to writing. And you do it when you’re a new writer because you haven’t yet found the art in writing.

Once you find the art, and the characters in your mind take on meaning and form, that’s when you begin to take them, and your writer-self, a little more seriously.

Okay. Not so cheesy.

Uh oh, here they come, with a pair of big shopping bags. Oh, I hope it was all on sale…

Author: John D Reinhart

Author, technical writer, videographer, actor, and naval historian John D Reinhart is a very busy guy. You can find his novels as Smashwords.com.

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