No Step, No Journey

You’re a writer, you know how it goes. You think up an idea, you jot some notes, you toss it into a drawer somewhere…a drawer labeled whenever. If you’re like me, things go into the drawer, but never seem to come back out.

I have a huge, mondo-sized, drawer overflowing with ideas, all labeled “whenever.”

Continue reading “No Step, No Journey”

A New Boss

You’re a writer, you know how it goes. You settle on a project, or maybe two, and you burn the midnight candle until it’s just a smoldering stub, and you tell everybody what your project is and how it’s your end-all-be-all raison d’etre and stuff…

But it isn’t. You fight the words and wrangle them into place. You beat yourself silly trying to find that structure, that style that sets you apart.You work until your mind bleeds to find the description that’s never been made.

But it doesn’t come.

It’s all the same hack.

I know. I’ve been hacking at the same project for, like, ever…

What to do, oh what to do.

Here’s something terrible that I shouldn’t tell you, but maybe you’ll see it.

I invented a producer, my writing boss. I gave her, (she’s a she) the complete and total task of managing my writing.

With Sydney (her name’s Sydney) in charge, I can mentally offload the task of managing my production to her. It sounds crazy, and I’m certain that is, but it has made my writing much easier.

Sydney’s a breeze to work for, because she doesn’t really exist, which means she hardly ever yells at me!

Yes, it’s nice to have a boss in the writing biz, even though, and I know you’ll agree, it’s crazier than a bag of wieners.

Now I just have to figure out to hit her up for a raise!

Afraid of Being Scared


Even the bravest fellas fall victim to the heeby-jeebies, don’t they? Now matter how many mummies you’ve faced in closets, doncha think there’s one creepity creep that just plain scares the crackers out of you? I’m sure Cap’n Kirk must have had, like, ten minutes of total flip out when they told him he would have to fistfight the Gorn, didn’t he?

I mean, if said creepity being didn’t exist, wouldn’t you be sort of like Superman, or Evil Kneivel? You’d be, like, bring it on over breakfast, wouldn’t you? Gasoline and cigarettes for lunch? Whawhooof – dang, lookit that fireball! Doesn’t scare me.

It turns out that finishing the book, while difficult, was nothing compared to the next challenge, the real issue, the stay-awake all-nighter of all time. You’re a writer – you know. Having somebody read it. Duh-duh-DUH!!!

There must be ten million what-ifs running through my head…what if they don’t like it…what if I left a bajillion typos…what if they don’t get my hero…what if they put it down and tell me I’m STOOOPID?

The difference between a novelist and someone who says I’ve always wanted to write a book is that the novelist writes it. They face out the evil task and do the deed.

The difference between a novelist and a published author must be this next step of leaping across the yawning chasm of what-ifs and approaching the external reader challenge calmly and professionally. Thank you, sir, may I have another?

It’s not that I haven’t had other readers – one of my daughters actually liked it. The other hasn’t quite gotten around to finishing chapter two. My wife almost finished if, and my sister got well past the middle. Perhaps it’s too long…

So, it’s down to paying a stranger to read it. I’ll give you fifty bucks to read my book…wanna buy a watch?

Maybe they could give me some tips and pointers about the book…except that I am so beyond the tips and pointers phase. That phase was, like, two rewrites ago. This book is the bomb, the deal, the cat’s sleeping gear.
This one is better, brighter, more connected. This one is good.

Soooo, what would a reader do? Find my errors, I guess. Tell me they didn’t get it, I imagine. Probably tell me it’s too long, maybe.

I’m not afraid of the reader. I’m afraid of the rewrite if they don’t like it. Or, should I pull a Captain Kirk and boldly go to publishing?

Do you see? Can you feel the terror? Can you see how hard this part is? This is literally like seriously hard, like trying to land a B-52 on a football field at night during a hurricane hard. Passing a watermelon through your nostril…well, maybe not that hard. But hard!

So, Mr. Knievel, you may have the motorcycle and the cool jacket…wait a minute. That’s just costumery stuff to make us think that you’ re brave, but maybe you have the heebie-jeebies, too. Maybe some things make Superman do a little squirt in his shorts, too. THAT’S why he wears that cape!

There’s no antidote for the heebie-jeebies but to do what you’re supposed to do.

Be brave, little Piglet.

Oh, Owl, I’m afraid I’m scared!